Chunk of Devon, the artisan wholesale pastry manufacturer, is celebrating after winning 10 Taste of the West Awards, which brings its award tally to 88.The company, based in Ottery St Mary, has won more awards across its range of pies, pasties, pork pies and sausage rolls than any other similar operation in the country.Suzi Bryon-Edmond, joint founder of Chunk of Devon, said: “We are absolutely thrilled – it is a huge result – we have never won so many in any competition. To win 10 in these particular awards in the same year we celebrate our 10th birthday really is the cherry on top of the pie!”Chunk produces over 40,000 pies and pasties a week and is stocked in farm shops, delis and independents.In February the company launched three new flavours of sausage roll to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
The California Bay Area is getting a new music venue next month. On Thursday, Bandcamp, a popular online music distribution platform, announced they will open a new record store in Oakland beginning February 1st, which will include a performance space capable of giving local fans a steady dosage of live music.The performances will be free of charge, and open to fans of all-ages shows as part of the company’s forthcoming video series initiative. The announcement also detailed that the brick-and-mortar location will be partnering with local organizations including Oakland School for the Arts, Bay Area Girls Rock Camp, and Transgender Law Center to help throw music-focused events benefitting the overall community at large, not just vinyl collectors.The record store, which doesn’t yet have an official name, will be located in Downtown Oakland on 1901 Broadway, and will feature an opening night celebration with indoor and outdoor performances by Bells Atlas, Sol Development, Queens D. Light, Jazz on the Sidewalk, and MJ’s Brass Boppers.Related: Crosley Radio Partners With Record Store Day For Mini Turntable That Plays Three-Inch VinylThe announcement on Thursday is the latest move from Bandcamp in an attempt to expand their brand beyond just providing in-house distribution and online streaming for independent artists while allowing copyright holders to retain ownership of their recorded material. The company, which formed back in 2008, has since established editorial initiatives as a way to increase website traffic, as well as brand awareness outside of just the artist and songwriter communities.The record store/concert venue model is nothing new. Although a sizeable amount of record stores, both large and small, seemed to have (almost) bitten the dust completely with the arrival on the Internet and streaming over the last two decades, venues like Rough Trade NYC in Brooklyn, New York have found a sustainable business model combining retail with live events. Time will tell if the establishment of music performance-friendly record stores will lead to the return of now-practically extinct “big box” retailers like the once-thriving Virgin Megastore of Times Square.