North Star Coffee Roasters are flying the flag for Leeds and Yorkshire based food and drink businesses by making it through to the final round of the Young British Foodie Awards.

It is just under two years ago since Alex ‘Krag’ Kragiopoulos first opened his coffee roastery at a small industrial unit in Meanwood, Leeds.

Since then, he has steadily built a loyal following amongst coffee drinkers across Yorkshire and the wider UK. Now joined by his partner Holly Bowman (a former green coffee buyer and qualified coffee taster), the pair are looking to establish their fledgling business at the forefront of the growing speciality coffee industry in the North of England.

Coffee beans cooling after roasting in Roxanne at North Star Micro Roasters, Leeds. (BR1001/13b) 8 November 2013. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Having successfully raised £20,000 through a Kickstarter campaign in May to purchase a larger capacity roaster, North Star is once again being recognised as one of Leeds’ premier new food businesses, this time by coffee industry experts who have selected North Star as finalists in the coffee category of the YBF’s.

The awards are no stranger to Yorkshire based winners as the first prize was awarded to renowned Noisette Bakehouse (based in Liversedge, West Yorkshire) last year in the baking category.

Now in their fourth year, this prestigious award seeks out and celebrates new, visionary talent in food and drink across the UK.

This year, North Star are competing against two other roasteries for first prize in the coffee category – The Roasting Shed (based in London) and The Slow Brew Coffee Company (based in Manchester).

Having already made the trip down to The Tate Britain to present to the judges, North Star are now eagerly awaiting the awards ceremony (also held at The Tate) on Tuesday 15th September to find out if their efforts have been successful.

As part of their presentation, Krag and Holly had to present both their product and explain what their goals are for the business in the future.

Krag said: ‘It was really nerve-wracking to stand in front of the judges alongside such stiff competition but we are thrilled to have made it into the final.”

“We can only hope they liked what we had to say and understood our passion and enthusiasm for what we do.”

“It has been an amazing two years so far and the recognition we are building reflects our focus on roasting the finest coffees we can find.”

Other Yorkshire businesses up for an award are Swillington Farm (based in Wakefield) and the Leeds Indie Food Festival.

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