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  • Razan Alsous and Raghid Sandouk of Yorkshire Dama Cheese, and James Bayliss-Smith of Nania’s Vineyard, crowned joint winners of ‘Party’ episode of Aldi’s Next Big Thing
  • Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, Julie Ashfield, broke protocol to award TWO contracts — a series first!
  • A limited selection of Hello-Mi Rolls (£2.99, 230g) land on shelves today (17th April), with remainder of the order arriving later in the year
  • Nania’s Wine Spritzers (£1.99 each 250ml) land on shelves today (17th April)

Landing in Aldi stores today (17th April) are not just one but TWO amazing products from small scale food and drink producers after Aldi’s UK Managing Director of Buying couldn’t pick between the two.

FREE TO USE IMAGES Pictured: Filming of ALDI’s Next Big Thing at ALDI HQ in Atherstone Contact: Hannah Ryan 07793 205397 PR Handout – Free to use

Julie Ashfield awarded Razan Alsous and Raghid Sandouk, of Yorkshire Dama Cheese, a potentially life changing contract to supply its product in over 1,000 Aldi stores, after being bowled over by their Hello-Mi Rolls, a Syrian-style cheese made using British cow and goat milk.

While James Bayliss-Smith of Nania’s Vineyard secured a listing for his artisanal English wine spritzers, with variants made just for Aldi.

Razan and Raghid captured the heart of the nation after sharing how they fled their home country of Syria following the war in 2012 and started a new life in Yorkshire.

Razan says: “We almost lost everything and had to settle into a new life with three young children. I began searching for a job but, despite having a pharmacy degree and a scientific background, my lack of references and work history in the UK made it extremely difficult. I thought, why not create a business and make Syrian cheese from fresh high-quality British milk? And so started my journey!“

Raghid added: “I’m very proud of my wife; she is a star. To come from the war in Syria to the UK and now to have created a product that is to be stocked in the fourth largest supermarket in the UK is incredible.”

Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, says: “You can’t help but fall in love with Razan and Raghid. They’re taking locally sourced produce and making a wonderfully innovative product. I know it’s going to sell.”

Razan and Raghid secured an order of 40,000 Hello-Mi Rolls. Due to the intricate nature of their production process — each roll is handmade at their West Yorkshire factory — their products will land on Aldi’s shelves in two separate orders: one today (17th April) and one later in the year.

Winemaker James from Bristol also impressed the judges after addressing feedback shared in the first stage of pitching. Julie encouraged the entrepreneur to experiment with a wider range of flavours and to consider making the packaging clearer.  

His improved Yuzu and Elderflower and Raspberry and Pomegranate spritzers certainly hit the spot.

Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, says: “It’s an excellent product, and I know it’s going to sell. James has drawn everything together to give us a spritz that’s going to look wonderful on Aldi’s shelves.”

James, who is also a documentary cameraman and filmmaker, makes his ‘low intervention, natural wines’ from the best English grapes from across the UK, all sustainably packaged in aluminium cans.

James says: “I’m so happy! Who would have thought I would go from making wine in my allotment vineyard to having my product on sale in Aldi.”

Aldi’s Next Big Thing, hosted by author and broadcaster Anita Rani, and Chris Bavin of BBC’s The One Show and Eat Well for Less, sees hopeful suppliers compete for a space on Aldi’s shelves, before Aldi’s Julie Ashfield decides on the winner.

Competing against the winners in last night’s episode, which focused on the Party category, was a unique black pudding jam, an adult twist on dessert sauces, plant-based deli meat and an authentic Filipino bao bun.

Razan’s Hello-Mi Rolls (£2.99, 230g) and James’ Wine Spritzers (£1.99, 250ml) are available in stores now. But shoppers need to get in quick for a chance to try. As with all Specialbuys, once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Aldi’s Next Big Thing airs on Channel 4, Tuesdays at 8pm until 7th May.

Or stream on Channel 4’s catch up service here.


For more information, please contact the Aldi Press Office on:
T: 0207 479 0910 or