Garstang cheese firm wins hat trick of food awards

Garstang-based Dew-Lay Cheese is celebrating winning a hat-trick of top awards at this year's NW Fine Food Awards, with the cheese manufacturer winning Best Blue Cheese for its Garstang Blue, as well as Dairy Producer of the Year.

But the greatest honour for Dew-lay was collecting the coveted award of the evening, Producer of the Year.

With more than 50 years experience in the cheesemaking industry, Dewlay became the first company to win the coveted Producer of the Year Award; twice.

"It is unprecedented; no one has won the Producer of the Year Award more than once. We first won it back in 2005 so to win it again is such a surprise, we are just so honoured," commented Ian Coggin, sales and marketing manager.

Attending the award ceremony was Dewlay's operation manager Nick Kenyon, who collected the awards.

"Winning the Producer of the Year Award was so unexpected. It never occurred to me that we would win it again after first winning it in 2005, so when our name was called out I was just so shocked," said Nick.

"None of this would have been possible without the great leadership of our managing director and mine and Richard's dad; Neil Kenyon. But everyone at Dewlay has worked so hard for this, so for our staff it is well deserved and a testament to our hard work," he added.

First making Garstang Blue back in 2003, the success of the Lancashire blue cheese is in part due to the support of regional customers, with the first supermarket to sell Garstang Blue being Booths, with Phil Godwin, cheese buyer at Booths agreeing to take on the cheese even before it was produced.

Regional chefs also cry testament to the Garstang Blue, with Michelin star chef Nigel Haworth from Northcote Manor a firm believer of using locally produced foods, with Garstang Blue featured in his restaurants across the region.

"This award for Dewlay is well deserved. I truly believe that Garstang Blue is Lancashire's premier blue cheese, it is soft but with a flakey blue flavour and is beautifully rounded," said Nigel Haworth.

"The NW Fine Food Awards is such a prestigious event so to be nominated for an award is an honour. But to then win the Best Blue Cheese category, Best Dairy Producer and the Producer of the Year Award is such a phenomenal achievement and a great honour," said Nick Kenyon.