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Guido Morreli Rising Star Award 2024 – Winner

Zara Taylor from Stafford was awarded the Guido Morelli Rising Star 2024 accolade at the Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show, an award which marks 30 years since the 41-year-old started out selling ice creams as a teenager.

She joined Tony’s Ices, a family-run enterprise established in 1992, and has risen to the role of director, working to acquire new business opportunities and effectively managing the company’s financial aspects.

Ms Taylor said she was thrilled to come out on top as the great and the good from the country’s ice cream world came together in Harrogate in North Yorkshire to celebrate their 80th anniversary.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to be recognised with this fantastic honour and in many ways it’s a dream come true.

“I started in ice cream as a 13-year-old doing a Saturday job and I’ve worked really hard over the years and now have four vans.

“Everyone wants to be recognised for doing something in life and doing well at something and this is my thing and I really couldn’t be happier.”

“Just being nominated was great and a real achievement so when I won, you can imagine I was absolutely thrilled but, frankly, I didn’t expect to win so when I went to pick up my award I just didn’t know what to say.”

“It was a brilliant event and I’m just so happy to be recognised in this way and now I can’t wait for the season to get underway.”

Makers and sellers of ice cream gathered at the Yorkshire Event Centre to showcase the best of the best with an award ceremony capping the three-day expo, organised by the Ice Cream Alliance, the trade body for the UK’s £1.4 billion per year ice cream industry.

The Ice Cream Alliance president Katy Alston, owner and founder of Pinks Vintage Ice Cream in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, said she was delighted with this year’s event and paid special tribute to Zara Taylor.

She said: “To win the Guido Morrelli Rising Star 2024 award is a fantastic achievement and Zara is a worthy winner.

“This year’s expo was a big one for us as it’s our 80th anniversary and we couldn’t be more delighted as we’ve had so many more visitors this year at the conference centre.

“It shows the ice cream industry is thriving in the UK and is very much the best in the world.

“It’s our biggest award ceremony ever and shows that ice cream is very much at the heart of Britain’s heritage.

“For me the biggest reward is seeing so many happy children tucking into their favourite treat and we’re committed to seeing it continue.”

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