Sheffield spice lover awarded for his ‘true Yorkshire grit’

A spice lover who uses his authentic Malaysian chilli paste to heat up dishes of diners across the city has won a top award.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 9:52 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 11:36 am
Will Chew, founder of Mak Tok, has been awarded the Yorkshire Grit award at the recent Garbutt + Elliott Food Entrepreneur Awards.
Will Chew, founder of Mak Tok, has been awarded the Yorkshire Grit award at the recent Garbutt + Elliott Food Entrepreneur Awards.

William Chew, founder of Mak Tok, has been awarded the Yorkshire Grit award at the recent Garbutt + Elliott Food Entrepreneur Awards.

In June 2018, Will was facing deportation after his visa application was rejected by the Home Office on a technicality. In just two weeks, Will and his team worked around the clock to stop that from happening, and also saved Mak Tok.

Will got in touch with the mayor, MPs, press and radio stations and also created and shared a petition online to gather support from the public to overturn the decision.

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He was able to get the best immigration solicitors to represent his case, along with a team of professional accountants, and his visa was granted in September.

Tony Farmer, Partner at Garbutt + Elliott said: “The food industry is fraught with challenges. Volatile retail markets, product recalls and natural disasters like flooding, all present some real business challenges.

“In this award we were looking for a resilient Yorkshire business that successfully conquered challenges to come out on top. Will’s witty gritty perseverance in the face of adversity hands down won the judging panel’s hearts.”

Will and his team are now preparing to launch Mak Tok in a supermarket chain, as well as exporting to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Tony added: “Golda Meir, former prime minister of Israel, said ‘you'll never find a better sparring partner than adversity’. The Yorkshire Grit category award honours the food or drink business who turned sparring into a fight and won the battle.

“It is clear that there is no more deserving winner than Sheffield business Mak Tok’s founder, William Chew, who, along with his team is spicing up our meals with their artisan chilli paste.”

The Garbutt + Elliott Food Entrepreneur Awards celebrate the best food and drink offerings across the UK and highlight the county’s growing position within the national and even international marketplace. They were set up in recognition of entrepreneurs and businesses from across Yorkshire.

Visit www.maktok.com to learn more about the business and shop the range of chilli paste flavours which are available.