Double Award for Cheese Etc

South East Regional Winners and Cheesemonger of the Year
At the Farm Shop and Deli Awards

Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop has scooped two wins at this year’s Farm Shop and Deli Awards.

The Awards commend retailers’ success in speciality food sectors and regions respectively. Awards were up for grabs across 11 different categories including specialist cheesemongers and Cheese Etc came top, not only winning their food category, but also were crowned regional champion across all sectors in the South East.

Cheese Etc was nominated for the award in September 2018, so it’s been a long wait to hear the results. A judging panel of industry experts met up last November in London for a day of evaluation and deliberation and then secret visits and mystery shops followed over the next three months to finalise the shortlist and determine the overall winners.

Ali and Jen Grimstone-Jones, owners of Cheese Etc, were at the Awards Ceremony on Monday when the results were announced and Jen collected the awards from Nigel Barden, food journalist and broadcaster. The business was commended for its product knowledge, staff helpfulness and service with humour and a smile, as well as starting a free local delivery service and working with the local community.

Owner and Cheesemonger, Jen tells us “we are absolutely thrilled to be recognised with both of these prestigious awards. Winning Cheesemonger of the Year is such an accolade and we are numb with delight that Cheese Etc has then won South East Regional Champion across all food sectors too. It is really humbling to even have made the final shortlist of these hotly contested awards, as we know how much hard work and dedication each of the finalists will have given to their businesses, so to have scooped the double is just amazing.

We are passionate about our cheeses and try and fill our shop with a range of tasty delights. Customer service is paramount and is at the heart of our business. We try and brighten up everyone’s day. Pangbourne is such a super location, with a range of specialist shops and the River Thames nearby that it offers something for everyone. We are so grateful for the support of all our customers, many of whom are local, but some travel quite a distance or use our delivery service to have cheese delivered to their door.”

Note to Editors:

Ali and Jen Grimstone-Jones have owned Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop for the past three and a half years. During this time they have won Cheese Counter of the Year at the World Cheese Awards and have twice been finalists in The Shop of the Year Awards.

Cheese Etc stocks around 130 cheeses, with many of these available to buy online. Local, national and continental cheeses from artisan producers are complemented by crackers, chutneys and other goods. A free flexi local delivery service is provided to Newbury, Thatcham and Reading areas with no minimum spend meaning that customers can choose a slither of their favourite cheese for their dinner or try something new for the weekend.


Double National Finalists

Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop is a finalist in two national awards recognising the best in the country for excellence in the specialist retail market.
Finalists have just been announced in the Farm Shop and Deli Awards and The Pangbourne Cheese Shop is just one of 4 shops selected in the Cheesemonger category.  The Awards judges look for exceptional specialist effort in independent retailers, business growth and how businesses develop relationships with the local community.
For the second year in a row, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop is also a finalist in The Shop of The Year Awards run by The Guild of Fine Food. The shop has been mystery shopped and visited by an independent judge in the past couple of months.
Judges acknowledged the shop’s Flexi Delivery Service, where customers in Reading, Newbury, Thatcham and surrounding areas can order cheese from and as long as they are flexible when they receive their delivery that week, there is no minimum order and no delivery charge. If customers aren’t internet savvy, they can just phone the shop to place their order. This means that customers can receive delicious cheese to their door even if they can’t visit the shop in person.
Shop Owner and Cheesemonger, Jen Grimstone-Jones commented “We’re delighted that we’ve been recognised for our cheese knowledge and for providing outstanding customer service.  We take time to listen to our customers and if we can make something happen for them, we will.  It’s the little things that count.”
Winners for the Awards will be announced in March at the Fine Food Show North in Harrogate and in April at the Farm Shop and Deli Show at the NEC, Birmingham.
Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop stocks around 130 cheeses, with many of these available to buy online. Local, national and continental cheeses from artisan producers are complemented by crackers, chutneys and other goods.

Counter of the year

The Pangbourne Cheese Shop has been named Cheese Counter of the Year, sponsored by Le Gruyère AOP, at the 30th edition of the World Cheese Awards. The Berkshire retailer came in third place in last year’s instalment of the annual competition but a recent refurbishment of the shop and an update of its branding have paid dividends, as it beat second-placed The Fine Cheese Co branch in London’s Belgravia to the top spot. Third place went to Nottingham’s The Cheese Shop, while a further seven shops were on the a 10-strong shortlist compiled by the judging team, led by cheese writer Patrick McGuigan.

The judges were impressed with the amount of work The Pangbourne Cheese Shop owners Ali and Jen Grimstone-Jones had carried out in the last 12 months, both to the actual shop and in developing business with local restaurants and online sales. “Independent retailers can find it hard to compete against the big supermarkets on the high street, but The Pangbourne Cheese Shop is a shining example of how small shops can be successful if they play to their strengths,” said Patrick McGuigan. “Lovely customer service, a fantastic line-up of artisan cheeses in tip-top condition and plenty of knowledge and enthusiasm behind the counter all create a rather special experience.

“If only every high street had a cheesemonger like this, the world would be a better place.” Wherever Ali and Jen can, they pick up their cheese direct from the producers, enabling them to get to know the story around each cheese.

“Our fabulous cheese-makers are incredibly talented and dedicated to producing stunning cheeses” said Jen, “Many of them have their own herds so work 7 days a week, making cheeses using traditional methods in small vats”.

Recently the shop has also gone online at , so that its cheeses can reach a wider audience. Cheese is sent by courier around the country whilst free delivery is offered every Thursday to areas including Reading, Newbury, Thatcham and nearby villages. Ali and Jen Grimstone-Jones collected the trophy at the World Cheese Awards 30th anniversary reception, held at Tobacco Dock, London on Friday 17th November.

The Pangbourne Cheese Shop Ltd 17 Reading Road, Pangbourne, Reading RG8 7LU 0118 984 3323