Finishing NZ Cheese Month on a high, the country’s specialist cheesemakers are celebrating retailers who make buying New Zealand cheese a pleasure.

Twisting last year’s Favourite NZ Cheese Shopping Experience, this year the New Zealand Speciality Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA) decided to recognise a collection of cheese shops across Aotearoa who promote the local industry by educating cheese lovers and promoting locally made cheese.

Announcing the Top NZ Cheese Stores for 2020, NZSCA Chair, Neil Willman said it was wonderful to create a programme which recognised and acknowledged the country’s best cheese retailers. “We’re seeing so many speciality retailers creating wonderful experiences for those hunting out New Zealand’s finest speciality cheeses. We wanted to be able to recognise them all.”

The Top NZ Cheese Stores are:

· Sabato, Mt Eden, Auckland
· Farro, Grey Lynn, Auckland
· Over the Moon Deli, Putaruru
· New World, Heretaunga Street East, Hastings
· C’est Cheese Artisan Cheese & Deli, Featherston
· Moore Wilson’s, Wellington
· Whitestone Cheese Co, Cheese Factory Store, Oamaru

Cheese lovers will be able to learn more about the stores by visiting  from the first week of November
– each of the seven will feature on the new Cheese Lovers NZ website.

The Top NZ Cheese Shop stories on the website – coupled with the site’s directory of New Zealand cheesemakers – means cheese-loving Kiwis have a wonderful guide to the best cheese as the travel the country. Shoppers will also recognise the stores which will have window decals with the eye-catching ‘Top NZ Cheese Shop’ logo.

Mr Willman says retailers play a vital role in educating people about New Zealand cheese. While our cheesemakers are making cheese, retailers are speaking directly to consumers, providing tastings of local cheese and explaining the stories behind the production. They ensure cheese lovers understand the love and care which goes into making local speciality cheese.

“All the retailers in the Top NZ Cheese Store programme have demonstrated a commitment to stocking cheeses made in Aotearoa, hosting tastings and providing information. Visiting any of these seven stores is a guarantee you’ll discover something new.”

Mr Willman said there are myriad of reasons for Kiwis to buy New Zealand Cheese and good retailers help share this story.

“Buying locally made cheese keeps jobs and money in our country. It is also supporting our regions as many of the cheesemakers and the farms which support them are in rural areas. Buying New Zealand ensures the cheese is fresh and it reduces food miles! What’s more there’s a very good chance cheese lovers will get to meet their local cheesemaker and visit their dairy or cheese factory.”

NZSCA plans to review and award ‘Top NZ Cheese Store’ status annually.

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