Meet the Team

Our team is passionate about everything food and Milton Keynes

Laurence Conisbee

Chair & Director

More about me...
Under the name Virtual Orchard, Laurence made his first commercial cider in 2009 using apples sourced from trees in private gardens and old orchards in MK. Over the years he expanded the business, finding other local orchards and receiving unwanted apples from local residents. For Laurence, sourcing his ingredients locally is paramount in order to make a truly local product. He is also keen to support other local, artisan producers and he established regular artisan markets at his business in Wolverton. Since relocating to Potterspury and rebranding to Wharf Distillery, he has continued to run regular markets and pop up events to support local businesses and his farm shop stocks an impressive range of locally sourced food & drink.

Hazel Roberts

Secretary & Director
More about me...
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.

More of the team

Jonny Foulton

Committee Member/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 / PR & Marketing
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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

Committee Member / Branding, Print & Website
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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.

Darrel Canvin

Parks Trust Liason

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Darrel works for The Parks Trust, with particular responsibility for the enhancement of Linford Manor Park and is our link between the MKFoodFest, The Parks Trust and the wider community that uses the park.

Ruth Panther

Community Liaison
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Ruth is part of the Great Linford Parish Council and helps to keep us in touch with the Great Linford community.