AN award-winning jam and marmalade maker has been forced to fold her business, after heat and fumes from bubbling pans left her with swollen sinuses and in need of two operations.

Melanie Moss said she was "saddened" and "upset" to have to close Wolds Cottage Kitchen as a result of being diagnosed with chronic rhinitis.

But not wanting to hang up her apron for good, Mrs Moss has now returned to the kitchen to launch her latest venture, Amos & Tom’s Gourmet Popcorn.

York Press:

Melanie Moss, pictured in 2013 with her marmalades

She hopes to repeat the success of her Wolds Cottage Kitchen business, which was founded at her home in Wetwang nearly four years ago, and which went on to win six World Marmalade Awards and two Great Taste Awards.

While growing the business to the stage of producing up to 700 jars a week, the conditions in which Mrs Moss was working had been taking their toll on her health.

She said: "I had built up a really successful business, but sadly my health paid a price.

"Because I stuck to my ethos of cooking by traditional methods it meant I was boiling 12 open pans for eight hours a day, and it had negative effects on my sinuses.

"Prolonging my exposure to high heat and humidity made my sinuses swell to such an extent it led to me having two operations, with doctors having to drill through my nose and into my sinuses. Something had to change."

York Press:

Melanie said her traditional methods took their toll on her health

Mrs Moss is now producing her own range of sweet and savoury popcorn, making her own coatings from home under the brand Amos & Tom's, which has been named after her and her husband's great grandfathers.

Mrs Moss said: "I was upset at having to close Wolds Cottage Kitchen, but I couldn't be down for long.

"I didn’t want to just throw in the towel as I had developed a very successful business. I had seen a gap in the market in this region a little while ago and that’s where the gourmet popcorn comes in.

"I will be one of the first artisan food producers to create gourmet popcorn in Yorkshire."

Mrs Moss will be launching her new brand Amos & Tom’s at the Dales Food and Drink Festival in Leyburn on Spring Bank Holiday weekend and then showcasing her new product again later in the month at Malton Food Lovers Festival.