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KQF Named Business of the Year In English Asian Business Awards

October 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm

KQF has been named Business of the Year in the 2014 English Asian Business Awards.

1editPresented by Lloyds Banking Group, the Awards were held on the 29th September at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel and were attended by hundreds of delegates from all over Britain. There were six other finalists in the Business of the Year category including, amongst others, professional services specialists, high-tech manufacturers and food and drinks companies from London and the West Midlands.

“This is a very prestigious award for KQF and to be up there with some really big names is a great achievement,” said managing director Faruk Vali. “I would like to express my appreciation to our whole 62-strong workforce for their contributions to making this award possible. We have come a long way in the last twelve months and much of it has been down to sheer hard work from the whole team. ”

The title of Business of the Year was awarded to the company which the judges believed most deserved to be recognised for its progress over the last year. In making their decision, the panel took into account KQF’s dramatic growth in sales, and our innovation with regard to new product development, branding, quality control and the expansion of our export markets.

Over the last year, we have almost doubled our turnover, won new clients in Britain and Europe and created a total of 12 new jobs.

We were recently commended as a finalist in the E3 Business Awards and, on 16th October, we will be appearing at the EN 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards as a finalist in the category of Most Entrepreneurial Company. In November, representatives of the KQF Superstore will attend the Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards – for which KQF has been shortlisted in two categories: the Halal Butcher’s Shop of the Year and the Innovation of the Year.

Another Nomination

September 15, 2014 at 9:20 am

In our last post, we announced that KQF had been named as a finalist in five separate business award categories – surely an impressive achievement by anyone’s standards. However, we’ve just heard that we’ve added to that total by achieving yet another shortlisting – this time in the EN 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

EN Finalist Entrepreneurial CoThese awards, which are now in their 13th year are run by Excel Publishing and the finals will take place on the 16th October at the Mere Golf Resort & Spa in Cheshire. The judging panel selected KQF as a finalist in the category of Most Entrepreneurial Company.

The judging panel comprises:

  •  Imran Hakim, inventor of the iTeddy and one of the most successful candidates on the BBC programme Dragons’ Den.
  • Rachel Elnaugh, founder of Red Letter Days and one of the original BBC ‘Dragons’.
  • Professor Amanda J. Broderick,  Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, College of Business and Law at the University of Salford.
  • Colin Stevens, founder of Better Bathrooms and last year’s winner of both the headline category and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Achieving finalists’ places in six different award categories and four different competitions shows just how far KQF has come over the course of the last year.  The first of these competition finals takes place next week (18th September) so we should have plenty to talk about in the coming weeks.

Watch this space…

Award Nominations Aplenty

August 29, 2014 at 10:07 am

E3 business awards - KQFWe are pleased to announce that since being named as a finalist in the E3 Business Awards, KQF has been shortlisted in two more high profile award competitions, bringing to five the total number of nominations that KQF has achieved this year.

Firstly, in late July, the organisers of the English Asian Business Awards 2014 informed us that we had been selected as a finalist in the prestigious  Business of the Year category. The Awards are supported by Lloyds Banking Group and will be taking place at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel on 29th September.

The announcement came as a complete surprise, as did the news that KQF’s other halal food brand, Sara’s has also been shortlisted. It will be a finalist in the Online Business of the Year category.

Finalist logo 2014 blog Butcher's shop of the year awards 2014 - KQF“We are delighted to have done so well,” said KQF managing director Faruk Vali, “and we’re especially proud that the nominations for the English Asian Business Awards came not from ourselves but from our customers. We’re touched that consumers regard us so highly and I’d personally like to thank all those who nominated KQF or our Sara’s brand. We’re very much looking forward to hearing the results and hoping, of course, for a win.”

However, the good news doesn’t end there. Having already achieved places in three award categories and two important competitions, we heard in late August that we had also been shortlisted under two separate categories of the Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards 2014. We will be appearing as a finalist in both the Halal Butcher’s Shop of the Year and the Innovation of the Year category. Our nomination under the Innovation category was based on the many changes that have taken place within the KQF Superstore.

The Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards is a national competition and the finals will take place at a special lunch at The Rosewood Hotel in London on Friday 14th November.

“To have secured five finalists’ places in three such prestigious competitions is obviously a tremendous achievement,” said Faruk Vali. “These nominations recognise some of the important changes that have taken place over the last year or so but, more importantly, they also reflect very well on all the hard work that everyone at KQF has put in.”

We will publish further details as soon as they are announced.

Making the Most of Marinated Meats

August 26, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Making the Most of Marinated Meats

We’ve talked a lot in the past about some of our best known products – halal burgers and sausages and so on – but with the summer holidays and barbecue season now fast approaching, perhaps it’s time we looked at another KQF favourite that hardly ever gets a mention.

Marinade Sauces

Based on customer feedback from the KQF superstore, summer is a time when families really make good use of marinated meats. Barbecues, grills, stir fries and many other dishes can all really benefit from a good marinade, which adds flavour and also helps to tenderise the meat.

In store, we offer a 4-step process whereby customers choose their meat, choose their marinade, choose the pack size and then take the ready packed, ready coated meat home for cooking. However, there is absolutely no reason why families in other parts of the country shouldn’t be able to enjoy exactly the same choices. KQF offers all kinds of ready-prepared marinated meats and a range of delicious marinade sauces that can be delivered anywhere in mainland Britain. They are perfect for lamb, beef and chicken, as well as fish and vegetables.

Marinated Meat – Cooking Tips:

Here are a few tips for making the most of your marinades.

  • Marinades are great for keeping food moist and stopping meat from drying out when exposed to high heats (e.g. on a barbecue grill).
  • They are very cheap and effective ways of adding depth and complexity to the flavour of meat. They are especially effective on more economical cuts.
  • Most marinades contain an acid ingredient that helps to make meat more tender. This makes the meat more succulent and helps it to absorb more flavour.
  • To encourage the marinade to penetrate the meat, the surface can be lightly scored with a knife.
  • On larger cuts, marinades can be applied and left overnight to impart maximum flavour.
  • Fish should be marinated for only a short time before cooking – no more than 30 minutes to an hour. This is because the acids in the marinade can tend to start to ‘cook’ the fish meat and so marinating for longer than this can sometimes make the fish soft and doughy.
  • For the same reason, many home cooks believe that poultry should not be marinated overnight; some regard 3 hours as a sensible limit for chicken but others are happy to marinate poultry for up to 24 hours. This is ultimately a matter of personal choice.
  • When marinating, turn the meat regularly so that all parts of the surface are equally coated.
  • Always marinate meats in a covered container and leave it in the fridge. (Leaving meats at room temperature can encourage the growth of harmful bacteria.)
  • Use a ceramic or glass container for marinating meat. Avoid metal containers, which can react badly with the acids and leave a harsh taste. Plastic containers are generally okay for short periods but they can be subject to staining. Food grade plastics should be used because these will not tend to taint the food. Some cooks like to use re-sealable plastic bags because these allow the marinade to be massaged into the meat without making a mess.

As a bit of background research for this blog post, we asked our resident consumer food expert, Mohammed Shafi from the KQF Superstore, which meat cuts were most popular when it came to marinating. Shafi Bhai reported that, judging by recent sales, the most popular were, in order:


1. Lamb Chops

2. Chicken Drumsticks

3. Chicken Fillets

4. Chicken Tikka

5. Lamb Ribs

6. Chicken Wings

Using the four-step service, customers are combining these cuts with the following KQF Marinade Sauces:



1. Spicy (Hot)

2. Lemon and Herb (Mild)

3. Piri Piri (Hot)

4. Piri Piri Brai (Hot)

5. Portuguese (Moderate to Hot)

If anyone would like to suggest their own favourite marinade recipes, please feel free to share them either here on this blog or via our Facebook page.

Enjoy the summer!

KQF at the BAKO Family Fun Day

August 18, 2014 at 8:57 am
KQF at the BAKO Family Fun Day

KQF at the BAKO Family Fun Day

On Sunday 3rd August 2014, KQF staff accepted an invitation from BAKO North Western to attend a Family Fun Day at the company’s headquarters in Preston. BAKO organised the event to mark its 50th year in business and KQF representatives, together with many other leading food producers, were there to join in the celebrations.

Like many of the attendees, we took the opportunity to give visitors a taste of our products and our freshly cooked KQF Premium Burgers went down a treat, as did our halal beef and chicken sausages.

The event was attended by a mix of suppliers, customers and their families, as well as BAKO staff, so it was a great opportunity to show off the KQF brand and all that we can do. Our stand in the marquee was always very busy and we attracted a wealth of positive feedback and compliments about our products.

KQF at the BAKO Family Fun Day

KQF at the BAKO Family Fun Day

In addition to food tastings, there were also many different activities and entertainments, including face painting, bouncy castles and demonstrations by confectionery experts who showed how to create edible masterpieces in the ‘BAKOry’. There was also a series of warehouse tours and even a chance for guests to test their skills on a computerised forklift simulator. On top of all that,there was plenty of cake to help celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary.

KQF is an approved supplier to BAKO North West, which serves trade clients, universities and other organisations throughout the region.

KQF Superstore Prize Draw Winners

August 8, 2014 at 12:23 pm

During Ramadan, staff at the KQF Superstore in Blackburn held a free prize draw for customers. Three winners were selected at random and, on 7th August, they were presented with their gift voucher prizes by superstore manager Ilyas Akubat.

First prize (£50 voucher): Mrs F.  Bhamjee

Second prize (£30 voucher): Mrs Z. Rashid

Third prize (£20 voucher): Mr Z. Butt

VCD_0003e  VCD_0005e     KQF Superstore prize draw winners

Congratulations to the winners. Don’t forget to check this blog for details of future prize draws, give-aways and promotions.

Our third prize winner, Zahir Butt said “He was very pleased to win the prize draw”. He added “If you like Halal foods, love KQF foods”.

E3 Business Awards Video

July 23, 2014 at 9:28 am

In June, we reported that KQF Foods had been shortlisted for the hard-fought Business of the Year category in the 2014 E3 Business Awards.

KQF managing director Faruk Vali was recently invited to meet with the organisers, 1 Events Media, and to take part in a short video to explain what the nomination meant to him and to the company as a whole.

BRC Rating

July 14, 2014 at 10:05 am

In June this year, KQF underwent a thorough audit to check that over the course of the year, all our processes have remained consistent with our ‘Grade A’ rating

under the British Retail Consortium quality standard for food.

We passed the audit with ‘zero non-conformities’.

KQF managing director, Faruk Vali said: “I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the staff who contributed towards this important achievement. Special appreciation is owed to all the office admin staff, who provide the backbone support for our hard-working Quality Team.”


Meeting Europe’s Need for Halal Foods

June 19, 2014 at 11:15 am

In previous posts, we’ve reported seeing increasing European demand for foods with reliable halal credentials. This is in line with economic forecasts which suggest that the EU market for halal foods should continue to grow steadily in the coming years. (The market is currently worth around $30 billion in total and its annual growth rate is estimated at approximately 15%.*)

Now, we are seeing even more evidence that this is the case.

KQF Shortlisted for E3 Business Awards

June 11, 2014 at 8:47 am
KQF - shortlisted for the E3 Business of the Year Award 2014.

KQF – shortlisted for the E3 Business of the Year Award 2014.

On 5th June, KQF was announced as a finalist in the 2014 E3 Business Awards. It was shortlisted for the prestigious ‘Business of the Year’ category.

The E3 Business Awards were established in 2013 by 1 Events Media  to recognise the contributions that businesses, social enterprises and individual entrepreneurs make to local communities and the wider regional economy. They are open to organisations and individuals across the North West and the finals will be held on 18th September at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton.