The Wensleydale Creamery has been recognised for how quickly the company adapted to the unforeseen circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and for going above and beyond to keep the dairy industry going and supporting the local, rural economy.
The awards, which will take place via a live announcement on Monday 5th July, will celebrate specialist retailers from across the UK in recognition for their courageous commitment shown to their customers, community, staff and suppliers over the past year.
When it’s Visitor Centre, which ordinarily attracts 350,000 visitors every year, had to close in March 2020 in line with the first lockdown, the Wensleydale Creamery worked tirelessly to spearhead the overnight creation and launch of an online deli. Bringing the offering of cheese, butter, and local produce online, it enabled consumers around the UK to order their favourite cheese and accompaniments and have them delivered direct to their door via mail order.
As the biggest employer in the area, the team also launched an initiative giving staff at the Creamery, and its supplying farmers, access to groceries via the Visitor Centre, which had closed to the public but was still working to feed the Creamery’s cheesemakers and staff. This helped to ensure cheesemaking could continue, and in turn, the Creamery could continue to take in all the milk from local farms and maintain supply of cheese to customers.
As the UK remains in a national lockdown, the Wensleydale Creamery online deli continues to deliver its delicious range of handcrafted, artisan cheeses to shoppers’ homes. The online deli also features a large selection of local produce from crackers, chutneys and oils to biscuits, sweets, chocolate, and fruitcake, as well as newly launched wine, gin, and local ales, all available to purchase with delivery direct to customers’ doors.
Customers are also able to shop luxury hampers and food gifts throughout the year along with Weekly Deli Boxes, which incorporate local produce including award-winning cheeses, perfectly paired with accompaniments.
Speaking of the nomination, Trish Cannon, director of the Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for a Farm Shop & Deli Award, and for our team to be recognised for all their hard work. Here at the Wensleydale Creamery, we are determined to do whatever we can to bring happiness to homes and support our customers by helping them get their favourite cheese delivered to their door.
“When the pandemic first hit and supermarkets were facing increasing demand and pressure, we didn’t want to see people go without the everyday essentials or miss out on any much-loved treats – so we launched our online deli to ensure everyone was able to easily access our award-winning cheeses, as well as supporting other local Yorkshire businesses whose delicious food products and locally-made gifts are available through our mail order.
“The online deli is a great place to discover gifts, with a wide range of local produce on offer. It is a fantastic way to treat yourself or send special gifts to your loved ones, while supporting the small, local, artisan businesses we work with.”