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 since 1903.

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.

More of the team

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. MKFoodFest couldn’t happen without Jonny and his team getting all the infrastructure in place for the big event.

Alice Warren

Social Media Marketing

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Alice helps run Wharf Distillery, The Drinks Shed and New Town Gin – three local drinks businesses – where she does an amazing job with all the social media. she also  gets involved in the production of various spirits and liqueurs, including her own Made by Alice brand of aperitifs.

Claire Scullion

PR & Sponsorship

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Steven Dryden-Hall

Committee Member

Daniel Merner


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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.