Hot on the heels of winning, Paxton & Whitfield celebrated for a second time as Hero Hirsh, assistant manager of the Jermyn Street shop, was declared winner in the Cheesemonger of the Year competition. Hero tackled five rounds of cheese challenges, and her knowledge and dedication to cheese shone through to the expert cheese judges.
Opened in 1742 and boasting a string of Royal Warrants, from Queen Victoria to the present monarch, Paxton & Whitfield could be classed as a cheese institution but the business has never stood still.
Last year saw a major shop refurbishment, which helped improve the shopping experience and enabled the business to stock a greater range of products. The shop in Jermyn Street has been designed to hold cheese in perfect condition while also encouraging people to explore – displays are visually stunning and a chance to taste before you buy is central to the experience.
The second year of the Britian’s Best Cheese Counter competition saw entries from delis, farm shops, food halls and cheesemongers around the UK. Paxton & Whitfield was chosen from a short list that also included The Guid Cheese Shop (St Andrews), The Cheese Society (Lincoln), Cheese Please (Lewes) and Macfarlanes (Clapham, London).
John Farrand, organiser of the World Cheese Awards and Britain’s Best Cheese Counter, said: “Paxton & Whitfield is one of the most respected cheese retailers in the UK but the five finalists in this competition were all exceptional with superb cheese counters.
“Our judges were impressed by all aspects of the Jermyn Street shop where cheese is kept in perfect condition while still allowing customers the chance to taste and choose without feeling overawed by the sheer number of fine cheeses.”
Paxton & Whitfield also works directly with cheesemakers, enabling it to source product in the very best condition and develop new cheeses for its counter.
“Most importantly, Paxton & Whitfield is training a new generation of cheesemongers and encouraging young people into a career in cheese. Hero Hirsh is an example of this training; her enthusiasm and knowledge impressed all the judges,” commented John Farrand.
Paxton & Whitfield was presented with its trophy and Hero Hirsh with her certificate at the World Cheese Awards at BBC Good Food Show by Maurice Johnson of sponsors Le Gruyère AOC.
Ros Windsor, managing director of Paxton & Whitfield, said: “I’m delighted and very pleased that after 200 years we are still doing it right! This is down to the team on site who do a consistently great job – they deserve it. The big thing this year for us has been our shop refit so this award is very welcome and really positive news – it backs up what we’ve done to change the shop. We want people to see cheese as a living product in all its textures, sizes and shapes and to feel the excitement that is cheese.”
28 November 2012
For further information please contact any of the following:
Joanne Myram at Positive PR: firstname.lastname@example.org 01935 389497 or 07970 029364.
Tortie Farrand at The Guild of Fine Food: email@example.com 01963 824464 or 07976 631929.