THE FOUNDERS of a food business in Ruthin are making an appearance in a six-part Channel 4 series with a chance to be listed in more than 1,000 Aldi stores nationwide.

Maggie Carter and Jenny Whitham, founders of Patchwork Foods, beat hundreds of hopefuls to appear on Aldi’s Next Big Thing, with their black pudding jam.

The series sees food and drink suppliers compete to be listed in over 1,000 Aldi stores nationwide, and first aired on April 16 with the ‘Party’ episode.

Ruthin locals Maggie and Jenny met by accident 46 years ago, after Jenny dialled a wrong number.

Denbighshire Free Press: Patchwork Foods' black pudding jam.Patchwork Foods' black pudding jam. (Image: Submitted)

The pair have gone from strength to strength, launching jam-based company Patchwork Foods.

 Wanting to bring something different to the judges, the duo present their ‘versatile and utterly delicious’ black pudding jam, which they say elevates sandwiches to gourmet status, or adds an extra burst of flavour to burgers.

Hosted by Anita Rani, of Countryfile and BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, and Chris Bavin, of BBC’s The One Show and Eat Well for Less, the series sees suppliers compete in a range of categories including dinners and baked goods, as well as exciting new category additions: party, world, and confectionery.

Products are presented to Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi UK, who deliberates on factors such as price, packaging, shopper demand, and the ability to scale up, before shortlisting contestants down to just two. 

The finalists are then given four weeks to address any feedback, with a follow-up home visit from Anita or Chris who will report back their findings to Julie.


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The three then taste test the improved products, before Julie decides the winner, which will appear as a Specialbuy in over 1,000 stores. 

Ms Ashfield said: “Gone are the days of simple cheese and pineapple sticks, as people are opting for more exciting, extravagant party foods. It’s certainly a category that invites experimentation!”

With a vast portfolio of flavours under their belts, Maggie and Jenny are excited at the prospect of seeing their unique product on Aldi shelves.

Maggie said: "We do a chorizo jam, a bacon jam – a black pudding variant felt like the natural next step. We fry off the pudding, then we add the ingredients such as onions, let it all boil up together until it’s totally delicious, then jar it up.


“The proof is in the Black Pudding Jam! We now employ over 25 people. To get this contract with Aldi would be amazing."

The multi-category competition is part of Aldi’s ongoing commitment to support British suppliers.

Last year, Aldi spent an additional £1.3billion with British suppliers and growers, and they provide more than three quarters of all items sold in its stores.

To find out if Patchwork Food’s Black Pudding Jam made it on to Aldi’s shelves, watch Aldi’s Next Big Thing on Channel 4.

The series will air every Tuesday at 8pm until May 7.