TRADE & JUDGING DAY - Thu 6th Sep 2018
PUBLIC SHOW DAY - Sat 8th Sep 2018




Posted by Julie Harding        09/06/2016

THE cheese committee of the Global Cheese Awards (GCAs), the trade show held two days before the Frome Agricultural & Cheese Show, is preparing to launch its GCA Deli Competition 2016.

This unique contest, which is now in its fourth year, sees five judges visit approximately 100 delis within a 25-mile radius of the West Woodlands Cheese Show site on an anonymous basis. The judging will start shortly and will run until the beginning of July.

“The delis aren’t nominated so we include small companies in our judging who wouldn’t have the time or staffing  levels to nominate themselves,” says Jessica Kimber Holloway, vice chairperson of the cheese committee and technical and product manager at Bruton-based cheese company Godminster.

“We are looking for presentation, range of cheese on offer — and we’re only looking at the cheeses the delis sell — as well as customer service,” adds Jessica. “We don’t look at price, but the knowledge of those serving is vitally important. We may ask them if they know how to store the cheese or make up a cheese board. We judge them on what they know and how helpful they are during the mystery shop. A small deli may only have a small offering in terms of its cheese range, but if their service is second to none potentially they might score higher than a bigger company,” adds Jessica.

The deli competition is judged on a points system, with the top one or two scorers from each area being visited for a second time by the head judge to decide the top three.

“Our points system makes the competition between big and small delis fair,” says Jessica. “The delis involved all love being linked to such a well established cheese show.”

Previous winners have include South Petherton deli Provender, who clinched the title in 2014 and have twice been named as runners-up, and Bristol-based Arch House Deli.

“Provender won because of their range, but also because of their customer service. Anything they didn’t know they went on the internet to find out,” says Jessica. “Arch House won because they had good service, a good product offering and they do cheese tastings, so they are good at advertising and educating people. Turnbulls in Shaftesbrury, who were finalists last year along with Provender and Arch House, were good on knowledge and their cheese range.”

The winner of this year’s contest will be presented with a cup and certificate, they will be invited to be a judge at the Global Cheese Awards on Thursday 8 September 2016, given the chance to come and sell their products, while the winner and two runners-up will be invited to Thursday’s trade evening dinner and canapé reception where the presentation will be made.

Picture shows Provender Deli, 2014 winner and twice runner-up of the GCA Deli Awards

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