There’s no denying that we have enjoyed every second of 2018. From launching fantastic new products such as Yorkshire Brie and Yorkshire Cheddar, to being part of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and seeing the Welcome To Yorkshire ‘Wensleydale Garden’ win Gold, to becoming the star of the show on BBC2 and Channel 5 programmes. 2018 has been a great year for the Wensleydale Creamery.
Not forgetting to mention the successful year of awards, with a tally of nearly 90 for our cheese, butter and yogurt in national and international shows, including 26 gold awards!
The show season kicked off at the British Cheese Awards at The Royal Bath and West Show, where we won a total of 9 awards, including a Gold for our naturally thick and creamy Yorkshire Yogurt. The Royal Cheshire County Show soon followed, adding more awards under our belt, with Silver rosettes for our Oak Smoked Yorkshire Wensleydale and Traditional Double Gloucester.
However, the highlight of the show season had to be the debut of our newly launched Yorkshire Cheddar at The Great Yorkshire Cheese & Dairy Show, fighting off tough competition to take the Supreme Champion Cheese title! There’s something very special about winning an accolade like this, on your home turf, especially with a newly launched cheese! In addition to the grand total of 25 awards at the show across our range of handcrafted cheese, butter and yogurts, Yorkshire Cheddar also took the Best Cheddar trophy, and Yorkshire Wensleydale was not only awarded the Wensleydale Cup for the Best Wensleydale Cheese and Best Territorial Cheese trophy, but was also crowned Reserve Supreme Champion Cheese! It was a truly massive achievement and a very memorable show.
The end of July saw us travel on to Nantwich for The International Cheese Awards. Our friends in Cheshire made is feel very welcome and we have fond memories of meeting so many other cheese-makers at the show. We were over the moon to bring back 9 awards, including 3 golds and a Champion Farmhouse Cheese Trophy!
September was another great month for us; not only did we host our second annual Cheese Festival at our Visitor Centre, we collected 16 awards at The Global Cheese Awards, held in Somerset! Blue 16, named in celebration of the year, 2016, that our new creamery at Hawes was completed, won the Reserve Champion Supreme accolade, alongside Best Blue Cheese and Best Vegetarian Cheese! Yorkshire Cheddar and our Kit Calvert Old-Style Yorkshire Wensleydale were also highly commended.
Rounding off the show season, the World Cheese Awards, this year taking place in Norway, saw Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for our cheeses across 8 categories, with our new cheeses Yorkshire Cheddar and Yorkshire Brie impressing judges once again.
The Autumn brought recognition back at home with a nomination shortlist for the Yorkshire Life Product of the Year with our delicious Yorkshire Butter, traditionally churned from fresh Yorkshire cream!
Our Extra Mature Yorkshire Cheddar continued to wow judges, being shortlisted for A Great British Food Award, the Deliciously Yorkshire ‘Best Cheese’ award and ‘Local Product of the Year’ in the Flavours of Herriot Awards. Yorkshire’s Own Cheddar was also shortlisted in the 2018, Welcome to Yorkshire, White Rose Awards’ Producers & Makers Category.
Winning the trophy for ‘Innovation in Exports’ was fantastic recognition at the Cream Awards, which celebrate excellence in the Dairy Industry, with our naturally thick & creamy Yorkshire Yogurt also being Highly Commended in the ‘Taste of Excellence category.
Well-deserved recognition for other areas of our business continued for our thriving Visitor Centre, being awarded Best Rural Tourist Attraction in the Yorkshire Post Rural Awards, recognising the contribution it makes to the deeply rural economy of the Yorkshire Dales in which we are situated.
Our fantastic home-made food, created using locally sourced ingredients & featuring our cheese, of course, that is served in our Visitor Centre Calvert’s Restaurant and 1897 Coffee Shop was also recognised, being shortlisted for the ‘Best Use of Local Produce on a Menu’ in the Deliciously Yorkshire Awards and ‘Best Cafe / Restaurant at a Visitor Attraction’ in the Flavours of Herriot Country Awards.
November saw David Hartley, our MD, named as one of Grant Thornton’s Faces of a Vibrant Economy, highlighting David as one of a hundred chosen leaders who inspire by example and show how better business can be done, recognising their role in developing a more purposeful and innovation business environment.
The award Season was well and truly rounded off with the surprise nomination for a special award at The Flavours of Herriot Country Awards, which saw us presented with an award for ‘Outstanding Commitment to The Prosperity of The Yorkshire Dales’! To receive this recognition was most welcome for our team and our business; it means so much to all concerned with the Wensleydale Creamery, and we are so very proud. It recognises our collective values as a business, with the commitment to our community both socially and economically, which are as important now as when the Creamery was saved and bought in 1992.
We are absolutely thrilled with the recognition that we have received this year for our products, people, Visitor Centre and entire business, and we are very much looking forward to building on this success as we go into 2019.