It was a case of hard cheese for the best of the rest across Britain as a specialist dairy shop in Settle triumphed in the World Cheese Awards.
Andy and Kathy Swinscoe’s fledgling business The Courtyard Dairy opened just a year ago but the couple walked away from the premier event in the international cheese industry’s calendar with the title of Cheese Counter of the Year.
Eighty entries were whittled down to ten finalists before the Yorkshire firm was named champion in the hotly contested category of the awards which are organised by the Guild of Fine Food and sponsored by Le Gruyère AOP.
Judge Patrick McGuigan said The Courtyard Dairy was a brilliant example of how a small shop can do great things.
“Andy and Kathy Swinscoe may only have opened the shop last year but it’s truly inspirational – the shop looks terrific, it is temperature-controlled which means that the cheeses can be displayed in the open which is great for immediate impact.
“Pictures of cheese producers and a cheese map of Britain are excellent additional touches that help customers to connect with regional cheeses and the people who make them.”
He added: “The competition this year was much fiercer than 2012. Britain’s cheesemongers are really raising their game, providing stunning products and service – they are simply miles ahead of anything that supermarkets are doing.”
The Courtyard Dairy sells cheeses from across Britain and Europe and is committed to supporting independent farmhouse cheesemakers.
At the World Cheese Awards, 220 expert judges were tasked with evaluating the merits of some 2,777 different cheeses.
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