Meet the Team

Our team is passionate about everything food and Milton Keynes

Laurence Conisbee

Director & Committee Chair

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Laurence has been involved in artisanal drinks production since 1994 and in 2009 founded Virtual Orchard Cider in Milton Keynes, the first commercial cider maker in central England. In 2014 Laurence founded Wharf Distillery, another first for the region, producing brandies, vodkas, whisky and, of course, gin. As well as their own range of spirits and liqueurs, Laurence is now evolving a growing contract distilling arm for Wharf Distillery which is able to produce small batches of bespoke gin, or other spirits, for independent pubs, restaurants, or as corporate gifts. Wharf Distillery is England’s smallest whisky producer and only the eighth English Distillery to release a whisky.

Dr. Hazel Roberts

Director & Committee Secretary

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Hazel first started making jam and chutney in 1998 after a successful first year of allotment growing. In 2002 she started selling her preserves to the public and in 2011 she rebranded to Jam Moo Kow, emphasising the MK link, making preserves from fruit and vegetables grown here. With her focus very much on creating a local food and selling it locally too, Hazel soon found herself meeting other similar minded small business owners and realised that together they could support each other and collaborate. Together Laurence and Hazel set up the Milton Keynes Artisan Food & Drink group with the aim of sharing contacts and promoting each other and they have made a good many like-minded friends along the way.

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Jonny Fulton

Event Management & Resources

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Jonny runs the event management business Fox Wylie and provides logistical expertise and event management experience to support the festival

Steven Dryden-Hall

Committee Member

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Steven is a marketing and PR man who is well known in food circles throughout MK and the surrounding area. He organises the now well established annual Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards which celebrates the excellent food and drink available throughout North Bucks and Milton Keynes.

Daniel Merner

Branding & Print

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Danny is responsible for ensuring our design and branding are up to the mark and that we are engaging with our audience in the most effective way possible as well as printing our promotional material and event brochure.

Alice Warren

Social Media Marketing

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Alice’s day job is helping to run Wharf Distillery where she manages all the social media as well as being involved in the production of various spirits and liqueurs, including her own Made by Alice brand of aperitifs.