Pangbourne’s Cheese Etc is 2017 Cheese Counter of the Year
Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop, has been named Cheese Counter of the Year, sponsored by Le Gruyère AOP, at the30th 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 and FFD regular Patrick McGuigan.
The judges were impressed with the amount of work Cheese Etc 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 Cheese Etc 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.”
Ali and Jen Grimstone-Jones collected the trophy at the World Cheese Awards 30th anniversary reception, held at Tobacco Dock in London on Friday 17th November.