We recently welcomed our business associate and friend, Hannah Thompson, to The Wensleydale Creamery, to show off all things Wensleydale!
Hannah is Director of Business Development for All Nations Cheese Organisation (ANCO), our US distribution partner. We’ve been working with ANCO for eight years, and approximately 50% of our cheese that is exported, is sold in the US.
En-route to Wensleydale from the airport, Hannah, accompanied by Phil Jones (Wensleydale Creamery Director) visited a number of retailers, to see our products on shelves here in the UK.
Upon arrival at The Wensleydale Creamery, Hannah enjoyed a delicious lunch in Calvert’s Restaurant at our Visitor Centre, followed by a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of our new Creamery; meeting our cheese-makers & seeing first-hand, Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese being handcrafted. Finishing up in The Creamery’s atmospheric cheese Maturing Rooms, where Hannah was able to check out the ageing cheese.
Hannah explored our Visitor Centre with a tour through the newly completed ‘Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience’ and was mighty impressed with the Cheese-making Viewing Gallery & facilities including touch screens, detailing every step of the cheese-making process, recipe app and brand story details, audio room, plus fun games & activities for visitors. Not to mention the Visitor Centre Cheese Shop, where sampling of every variety of cheese was available – Hannah was in heaven!
The following day Hannah got to soak up some of the stunning Wensleydale scenery, visiting a number of farms with Becky Vallis, our Farm Liaison Officer and Rupert Barrett (Export Account Executive). The farmers were very proud to show Hannah where the fantastic milk comes from that is used for making cheese at The Creamery, which is enjoyed by customers around the UK and worldwide, including the US. A trip over the scenic Buttertubs Pass, an iconic Yorkshire Dales landmark, whilst out & about, amazed Hannah too!
The weekend continued with a further taste of Yorkshire; a trip to the local Black Sheep Brewery Visitor Centre, where Hannah took the tour, to learn about the traditional beer making in Masham. Finishing off with a sampling of the famous Riggwelter Ale, which we use to make our Mature Cheddar with Black Sheep Riggwelter Ale Cheese!
Hannah’s visit coincided with the annual Leyburn 1940s weekend, so Phil & Rupert took her along to see the fantastic array of historical artefacts, vehicles, outfits and more – a true insight into British history and heritage!
Saturday evening saw Hannah enjoy a unique experience, with an invitation to a wedding party in the dale, celebrating with farmers and cheese-makers alike.
As proud partners of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, we were delighted to take Hannah to the Headingley stadium in Leeds, to watch the Yorkshire Vikings play the Worcestershire Rapids in the Natwest T20 Blast. As guest of honour, Hannah was thrilled to be invited to do the coin toss, and was impressed at the sight of The Wensleydale Creamery’s branding on the players’ shirts and around the ground.
After departure from Wensleydale, Hannah went on to Nantwich, in Cheshire, where she was invited to judge at the International Cheese Awards, which this year attracted over 5600 entries from around the world!
It was certainly an action packed few days, and absolutely fantastic to have Hannah here with us, to meet our team. It was a real honour, and we were so proud to be able to show her so much of our wonderful Wensleydale; both our cheese-making and the beautiful area which go hand in hand. We look forward to welcoming her again soon!