The Co-operative Blogger Event #onthelist

December 2, 2014 by The Co-operative Food

Last Friday, we held our very first blogger event!

LED-poster1The event began with Jordan McDowell – Vogue Top 100 blogger 2013 and Co-operative Social Media Community Manager who sat with Ruth Clemens, Sarah Harradine and Emma Campbell for a Q&A session with the audience. More about the panel and photos of the night.

Co-operative Blogger panel

Blogger panel – Jordan, Ruth, Sarah and Emma


After the panel session, the guests were wowed with a demonstration from Paul Dempsey – Co-operative Product Developer and Chef. Paul is responsible for developing some of our new creative desserts such as the Loved By Us Snowman Cake and Truly Irresistible Chocolate and Orange Dome Cake.  For his demo, Paul started with a flavour-lovely goodies like smoked, Matcha (Japanese green tea) and smoked paprika popcorn. This was followed up by 3 flavours of brownie – parsnip, chilli and salted (which was everyone’s favourite) and rounded off with Yuzu jellies, mango and cardamom jellies with Tonka bean and vanilla Chantilly and toasted pine nut and olive oil rocky road. The highlight of Paul’s demo were the Chocolate Spheres – flavoured with smoked chocolate ganache, poppyseed ganache, passionfruit and cardamom and matcha sponges – which set the place afire (literally).

Co-operative Food Paul Dempsey demo

Paul Dempsey and David – Chocolate Spheres



The event ended with our amazing keynote speaker Jo Middleton – Mummy Blogger Extraordinaire, who has been blogging for 5 years and now has over 50,000 Twitter followers. Her ’16 Questions’ talk gave practical advice on how to take a blog to the next level. Download Jo’s 16 questions you need to ask yourself .

Co-op blogger event - Jo Middleton

Guests listening to Jo Middleton


Competition prizes were:

  • ÂŁ150 Co-operative Food Hamper +1 identical prize to give away on the winner’s site
  • 5 Nescafe Coffee Machines from Co-operative Electrical
  • Grand Prize of a 40” Samsung Smart TV +1 identical prize to give away on the winner’s site


Many of you have expressed the desire to work with us moving forward. We will be contacting those that attended in the next few weeks, although we welcome any specific ideas that you think would be good for our brand. Update your profiles here to receive occasional product samples and opportunities to work with us.

Upcoming campaigns:

  • Health Challenge 2015 (health and fitness bloggers required)
  • Fairtrade Fortnight
  • Easter
Co-op Truly Irresistible cakes

Co-operative Truly Irresistible dessert table



Panel/Speaker Bios


Jo Middleton

Jo Middleton has been writing her award-winning blog Slummy single mummy for five years, producing nearly 1,000 posts about everything from parenting and children to relationships to travels around the UK with her daughter in a motorhome. Jo lives in Somerset and has two daughters – Bee and Belle, aged 19 and 12. This evening Jo is going to draw on her own experiencences of blogging, life and kids to encourage you to ask yourself some important questions about your own blog – where have you come from, where are you going and, more importantly, how do you plan to get there? We hope to leave you feeling inspired and motivated about take your blogging to the next level.


Paul Dempsey – Co-operative Product Developer and Chef

Paul was a chef for 12 years in various restaurants and hotels in the south of England- specialising in pastry work. He trained under a michelin starred chef. The highlight of his cooking career was cooking for the Queen at a civil function leading a team of 5. Paul moved into Development working in desserts for a company creating desserts for national food retailers and restaurants. He has been a product developer at Co-op for just over two years, currently covering ISB, Bread, morning goods and cake.


Jordan McDowell,

Jordan blogs about fashion, culture and the city of Manchester at or Rambler, for short. Blogging since mid-2010, Jordan’s blogging career has seen him grow a substantial following and reputation as a discerning voice on trends, fashion and the goings on in and around his city. In 2012 Jordan ranked alongside the likes of Cheryl Cole and Kim Kardashian as one of the most influential people in online fashion, in British Vogue’s inaugural Top 100 list and contributes to BBC Radio and other media outlets.


Ruth Clemens – The Pink Whisk

Ruth is the author of an award winning Baking Blog and 4 best selling baking books. She describes herself as a ‘Manic Mummy Baker Extraordinare, finalist on the 1st series of The Great British Bake Off Champion Kitchen Messer Abouter!’


Sarah Harradine,

Sarah is a health and fitness blogger and lives, works out, runs, lifts and plays in Manchester. Sarah blogs about her fitness achievements and kit and product reviews with a dash of opinion too. In a previous life Sarah blogged about fashion and lifestyle at Fashion Dotty and so brings a wealth of experience from two differing fields of blogging to our panel.


Emma Campbell,

Emma is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger. In 2010 Emma was named Best New Blogger at the Cosmopolitan Magazine Blogger Awards and has since worked with the likes of Matalan, London Fashion Week and Handpicked Media as a guest blogger and consultant.


The event was hosted by Co-operative Food and Co-operative Electrical. All the food and drink on the evening was Co-operative Food own-brand.


Photos of the night – also on Pinterest

Contact details

Annette Joseph Digital Marketing Manager The Co-operative Group Tel: 448437515298 Email:

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