What can I say about this week at work? Ali and I attended the World Cheese Awards last weekend – they were being held in London at Tobacco Dock. The venue was incredible, just an amazing use of an old building and it had been renovated to an incredible standard. We were there to help to judge the 3000+ cheeses that had been entered into the Awards. That in itself was a great experience for us as we had to taste 45 cheeses per judging group and award medals to the best cheeses on our table. I was judging with Carlos & Mark who had both been involved in judging previously, indeed Carlos went on to be one of the final judging panel who ultimately decided on the winning cheese. We were really pleased when the winner was announced as it’s a cheese that we had tasted a couple of weeks previously and had decided to stock in our counter.
The next morning I was back in the shop, promoting the Awards and showcasing the various winners that we sell when I found out that we had won the Cheese Counter of the Year at the World Cheese Awards. The competition is sponsored by Le Gruyere which again is one of our most popular alpine cheeses so it’s always in the centre of our continental display. We entered the competition back in June and the head judge had been put to pay us a visit but we hadn’t heard anything further and I’d forgotten that the winner was announced as part of the World Cheese Awards.
As you can imagine it’s been an absolute whirlwind of excitement in the shop with various local news outlets wanting to come in and meet the team and see the counter. Ali and I are so proud to have such an incredible, dedicated staff and the award is recognition of everyone involved in the shop. I’ve been doing some quiet reflection and am already thinking of ways we can improve and how we are going to push on over the next 12 months. I love the shop, I love the cheese and I am thirsty for more knowledge, both about cheese and the dairy industry y as a whole. Ali and I are very keen to progress through our Master of Cheese qualification and I’m in the process of writing notes on continental cheeses that we don’t have stock so I can recommend some to be introduced into the counter. Those that know me best will not be at all surprised to hear that I’m moving on to the next challenge and that I’m not happy to sit back and relax!
So what’s new? Our online shop has proven very popular, we haven’t really begun to publicise it beyond my blog but we’ve got orders flowing in and it’s so lovely to be able to share our cheeses with a wider audience. But we are approaching that mega hectic time of year and the shop has been slowly turning more and more Christmassy as we get in all of our gift ideas. I try to get to 1st December before we get too festive, although the other shops in the village have got their Christmas decorations up already!
I think that’s pretty much bought things up to date although everyone that reads my blog regularly (well as regularly as I mange to update it…) will know that I’ve been biding my time before I can get back onto the treadmill. Well the inevitable passing of time meant that my 6 months were up last week and yes I was in the gym and on the treadmill as soon as I got home from work! It’s a slow plod and I’ve had to adjust my running style as my gait has completely changed but I’m building it up slowly and it is just such a relief to be able to do it. It might not be as news worthy as the Cheese Counter award but for me it is almost as big a celebration! ?