About Us

We are passionate about spices, their heritage and their gastronomy.

We aim to explore their rich & varied history, their benefits plus their ancient and modern applications in food, health and other properties, via our various products which are listed below.


Our podcast features regular conversations and interviews with artisans, spice producers, chefs, historians and spice experts!

It’s completely free to listen to and in doing so, you can discover a brand new & spicy world!

Listen here


The Ginger and Spice Festival is a community fringe festival which takes place annually in and around Market Drayton during British Food Fortnight.  The festival celebrates the town’s culinary heritage & explores the town’s history via an eclectic mix of fringe events. There is a particular focus on promoting seasonal and locally produced food, often with a ginger twist!

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Our spice based store features artisan spice products, spiced based food, drinks, goods, gifts and more!

We are launching in June 2020!

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Who we are

Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts Founder & Podcast Host
Julia is the founder and creative director of the Ginger and Spice Festival. She is also the host of The Spice Larder Podcast which broadcasts regular shows about spices, spice based foods and features chefs, cooks, producers, historians and spice experts!

Julia is a graduate of English Literature and Environmental Studies and also holds her IOSH Managing Safely qualification. She has been working in communications and events sector for over 25 years and currently runs her own communications consultancy. She has a passion for heritage, social history and food. She also gives talks and speaks both nationally & internationally.

Julia is a member of the PRCA & the Garden Media Guild and also a Judge at the annual British Pie Awards.

Julia’s favourite spice is currently cumin!

Davina Rowe
Davina RoweFestival Co-ordinator
Davina Rowe has a BA degree in English Literature with Arts. She has a background working within the events industry having worked at the NEC and Nottingham Arena for over 12 years. Davina has her IOSH Managing Safely and she brings a wealth of event operation, ticketing and event management experience.

She is also a big foodie at heart and enjoys eating out in the area, supporting local farm shops and find new and interesting food products to try cooking at home with.

Davina’s favourite spice is pepper, she particularly likes Mr Wolf’s pink pepper mix and regularly adds this and other spices to game dishes.

Rebecca Farr
Rebecca FarrVolunteer Marketing Assistant
Rebecca is currently studying Events and Tourism BA at Staffordshire University and has just launched her own events business. She has over 2 years experience working in the events industry and on various volunteering opportunities.

With being a South African, Rebecca would say that her most favourite spice of all time is coriander, as it is used in some of the most traditional South African dishes such as Bobotie, Boerewors and Biltong.

Helen McCabe
Helen McCabeHealth and Safety Advisor
Helen is a Health & Safety Adviser and business manager for Harrier – health and safety and event specialists. Helen has many years experience as an event manager and advisor having worked at the European Games, V Festival, the NEC and Capital FM Arena. Helen supports the Ginger and Spice Festival with ongoing health and safety planning in preparation for delivering a safe and welcoming environment for our customers, partners and stakeholders at each year’s festival.

Helen’s favourite spice is Turmeric,

Sarah Hopcroft
Sarah Hopcroft Baking Expert
Sarah Hopcroft is Director of Image on Food Ltd based in Market Drayton.
Moving from Rutland 34 years ago and buying a small bakery in Shropshire Street the business grew from baking bread, cakes and morning goods to 90,000 hand-decorated gingerbread novelty biscuits a week. The business now operates from a purpose-built bakery, employing over 50 people & produces biscuits for an upmarket supermarket chain, as well as food service and tourism outlets throughout the U.K.

Having been born into a farming family, Sarah understood from a very early age the importance of quality and eating what the land produced. Milk came straight from the cows in the morning, bacon and pork from the pigs and then there was the excitement of eating seasonal fruit and
vegetables from the garden, only being allowed to pick the Brussel Sprouts once they had had a frost on them!

Sarah’s favourite spice is ginger, especially when smothered on melon!

Iana Jacobson
Iana Jacobson Volunteer Gingerbread Babushka
Iana is a graduate with an MA in Russian Studies. Since graduating, she has worked for the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace, as a Lost Kids co-ordinator at Glastonbury Festival, Manager of Art Centre in Lewes and as co-founder and Captain of Bands the famous Lewes (Southover) Bonfire Society.

Iana took early retirement in 2013 to become a full-time carer for her disabled granddaughter, Kitty.

On moving to Market Drayton in 2015, Iana has dedicated her spare time to a lifelong hobby – baking. In 2017 Iana won the Ginger & Spice Gingerbread House Competition; in 2018 she took part in CH4’s Kirsty’s Handmade Christmas going on to win the Gingerbread House trophy; and in 2019, as part of the Ginger & Spice Festival, Iana conceived the Guinness World Record challenge for ‘The most number of people decorating gingerbread men simultaneously’ co-ordinating with two local schools.The Guinness World Record was awarded in early 2020.

Iana’s favourite spice is cardamom.

Contact Us

To contact us please email:- gingerandspicefest@gmail.com