These Newtownabbey eateries are in the running for Northern Ireland's best scone

Four food service businesses in the Newtownabbey area have been named as finalists in the Best Scone NI competition.

Ballyclare's Pots of Pleasure, Coleman’s Garden Centre and Ross’s Joint as well as Deja-Brew in Doagh are among 100 food service bsinesses in the running for the award.

The Dairy Council for Northern Ireland competition is now at the crucial public voting stage in hopes of finding Northern Ireland’s Best Scones in cafes, hotels, restaurants and gastro pubs across NI.

The overall winning business will receive the Best Scones NI award, a £1,000 hospitality voucher of their choice to treat their staff, to recognise their resilience during lockdown.

Best Scones NI is now at the crucial public voting stage of the competition. Pictured enjoying the baked treats are Suzie Lee and Dairy Council NI CEO, Dr Mike Johnston.

Dr Mike Johnston, Chief Executive of the Dairy Council for NI said: “Best Scones NI is our way of supporting businesses after lockdown by keeping them on the public’s radar through online advertising and publicity that will celebrate both the scones and the local dairy products they use.

This is the stage of the competition that offers businesses the springboard to encourage their loyal and new customers to come into their businesses and try the quality dairy-based produce that they make daily.”

Jointly funded by the EU, the campaign recognises the importance of dairy products in the food service industry with recipes for most scones including dairy products such as milk, cream, butter, and cheese.

Supporting the campaign is Suzie Lee, winner of Britain’s Best Cook and renowned for her Home Cook hero show featuring local produce from Northern Ireland and Europe.

“As a daughter of a restaurant owner, I’ve seen the long hours and stressful times of running a successful business in the hospitality sector," she said. "Competitions like Best Scones NI offer business owners the opportunity to be celebrated by their customers and put their name on the map for making excellent produce.”

Members of the public can visit to cast their vote and be in with the chance of winning a £20 voucher for themselves to spend on a hospitality venue of their choice.

Voting is open until August 31 2021.