We are on the cusp of several new food festivals and we have no idea wether we have enough or too much stock...it’s a little nerve wracking! Still, we need to widen our horizons so...here goes. I’ll let you know next month how they went.
Other news is that we’re currently working towards putting gift boxes together and have teamed up with Sawley Kitchen and Briscoe Jelly to pair our cheeses. We’re also working with Grasmere Gingerbread to pair our ginger curd cheese with their delicious ginger bread.
Another really exciting collaboration is with The Sweet Beet working to develop some exciting new flavors of our curd!
I’m really excited about all this. It’s incredibly exciting working with other small producers. Watch this space for more developments!
The results of the Artisan Cheese Awards were announced in April and I must say we had disappointing results compared to last year, largely due to my experimentation. I wanted to see how far we could take the cheeses in maturity. I learnt a lot and I have to say that we still did great for such a young and small outfit - our White Hilton received Bronze for the second year in a row.
We also found out that we just missed becoming finalists in the Small Producer Awards, coming in at fourth. Dag nab it! We were told that the competition is extremely fierce so all in all II can’t complain and the feedback we receive will be invaluable as we move forward.
I was asked to talk at the launch of the WIN North East Business Woman North East 2018 this month. It was a real honor to be asked and I very much enjoyed sharing my story in the hope it might inspire other women to enter. Check it out at here.
Finally news just in. We’re been shortlisted for The Seed Fund. If we get through to the next round I’ll need to go down south and pitch...my stomach does not loop whenever I think about it. It really doesn’t.
Delighted to announce that our kefir milk is really taking off and is now available through The Orchard in Barnard Castle, Cortherstone Post Office and Mainsgill. Sales have tripled and I’m now looking at a way of upscaling production whilst maintaining the quality of the product. The really great thing is that people are coming back for it and that’s always a good sign.
I’ve also made a new batch of Nanny Blue. It has gone into the cold room the day I am writing this so I should have some results next month.
I have also been playing with a new crumbly cheese and results of that should be out next month too...fingers crossed. I have high hopes for this.
Finally, our Barney Brie has really started to take off and we have a number of outlets who are now stocking it plus it is selling very well at markets. I’m really proud that this unusual and rather rustic cheese has been embraced so well.
I am delighted to announce that we have employed not 1 but 2 new people to join us in May. I’ll introduce you properly next month. It’s come at just the right time too as we will be losing Saren at the end of May. She’s been with us for over a year now on a self-employed basis and is set to go traveling. I’m sad to see her go as she’s been invaluable in helping us grow but we might see her again later in the year.
We’ve also gained five new outlets this month in the local area. Thanks to everyone who supports us. It’s incredibly humbling.
More news on the business front - we think we’ve finally found a new home for us and our business. Actually, we have three potentials on the table at the moment. We’re just waiting to hear from the bank about a commercial loan to see which of the three would suit us best.
Big loan...big gulp!
In line with one of our core principles of 'We take care of our people': Jonathan and I took a well deserved two days off and went away. Jonathan insisted, as he knew I’d work if we stayed at home. We had a lovely evening at The General Tarleton and then popped into the Wensleydale Creamery on the way home on Sunday and bought lots of lovely cheese...I came away buzzing with ideas! What? It's not work when you're having fun...
Teesdale Butter anyone?