Congratulations to the courtyard diary, the 2020 Farm Shop & Deli Retailer of the Year 

Cheesemonger and North West The Courtyard Dairy

Retailer of the Year 2020 winners The Courtyard Dairy 

The Courtyard Dairy, based in Austwick, North Yorkshire, won the coveted Farm Shop & Deli 2020 Retailer of the Year Award. Impressing this year’s expert panel of judges and beating off the competition from the broad scope of excellence in independent fine food retail nationwide.

The Courtyard Dairy cleaned up by taking home Cheesemonger of the Year and the North West regional award, plus the overall Farm Shop & Deli Awards Retailer of the Year.

“We were thrilled; it was totally unexpected to win so came as a very pleasant surprise - and a welcome boost in these uncertain times.  It’s a real tribute to the suppliers, staff and community we work with - they are the backbone of our business and I am so glad we've all got some recognition!”
Andy Swinscoe, Owner, The Courtyard Dairy

The robust judging process is managed by a panel of food industry experts that included the likes of Chairman of the Judges, food critic, journalist and broadcaster Nigel Barden; acclaimed food and drink writer, chef and Co-Chair of Judges, Elaine Lemm; Fresh Foods Reporter at The Grocer, Henry Sandercock and Head of Commercial Operations and Buyer at Booths, John Gill - plus many more!

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Just some of our 2020 Judging panel.


What makes The Courtyard Dairy a worthy winner?

Co-chair of judges, Elaine Lemm, told us:  

"To call The Courtyard Dairy, a cheese shop is something of an understatement. The award-winning cheesemongers nestle in a beautiful location near Austwick. Not only do they boast one of the most impressive ranges of independent cheesemakers in Britain, with some matured on-site. There is an organic wine shop, a cheese museum, and a cheese production room which doubles as a teaching room for cheesemaking courses, and their latest addition, a bustling café-restaurant with an impressive cheese-led menu."


Other members of our juding panel also commented:

- The Courtyard Dairy has found its niche and it's paying off as shown by their growth.
- What I like about this company is that they are working with their producers to not only ensure good quality products but also to ensure the longevity of their partners.
- Love the idea of the cheese vending machine for emergency out of hours cheese. Cheese museum also a great educational tool and along with the excellent cafe upstairs helps to make the venue a destination visit.
- Fantastic turnover and we can see this business has a true future in the industry along with championing.
- Small selection of well kept and matured cheeses with a great in-depth knowledge and I like the fact that they involve themselves with the production of many of the cheeses.
- A real champion of the local community.


As part of the judging process customers were invited to comment on the business, and here are just some of the comments The Courtyard Dairy received:

- The whole experience is just the positive energy we all need! From the moment I walked through the door, I felt special and valued as a visitor - quite rare these days.
- Real champion of properly made farm products from small family farms. Their shop has acted as a catalyst in the area for new farm businesses to setup and for existing farms to diversify.
- The passion and love that The Courtyard dairy put into their business is infectious and inspiring.
- You won't find anyone more enthusiastic about cheese than Andy Swinscoe, and not just the product, but the heritage and local traditions of cheese-making too.
- As soon as you open the door to this little piece of heaven you are ‘hit’ by two things; the wonderful smell of amazing cheeses and the smiling faces of this fab team who immediately offer you tastes of cheese heaven!! Such a special place!

Take a look at all our 2020 Farm Shop & Deli Awards category and regonal winners here.


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