Yorkshire-based Ribblesdale Cheese is the latest small food producer to move into retail, enabling it to trial new products and build brand awareness.
The 240 sq ft Little Cheese Shop in Hawes sells Ribblesdale’s complete range of goat and sheep’s cheeses, alongside products from other small producers. The shop joins several other outlets that have recently been opened by speciality food producers. Yorkshire cheese wholesaler and producer Cryer & Stott rolled out its fourth store in the region in July, while Worcestershire-based start-up Leon’s Handmade Sauces launched a deli in Powys in May. Last year, saw Olives Et Al open a second deli in Dorset.
“One of the main benefits for us as a manufacturer in having a retail outlet is to raise our profile. People don’t realise there are two cheese makers in Hawes,” said Ribblesdale MD Iona Hill. “We generally only sell to wholesalers, so we never know who is the ultimate consumer of our cheese. This is a great chance to connect with the public and find out why they buy our cheese. It’s also a great, low-cost way of trying out new products.”