Appleby Creamery celebrates success at Great British Food Awards

Appleby Creamery managing director Maurice Walton (right) and operations manager Tom Jackson inspect cheese made at the factory. Image credit: Appleby Creamery

The Eden company is delighted after scooping several prizes at the 2022 Great British Food Awards.

Appleby Creamery, which is based on the Cross Croft Industrial Estate in the town, has won the Flavour Added Cheese category in the prestigious awards for its Eden Smokie.

Its Eden Valley Brie was also highly commended in the Soft Cheese category. In addition, Appleby Creamery’s Black Dub Blue was shortlisted in the Blue Cheese section of the awards.

“We are absolutely delighted,” said the company’s managing director Maurice Walton.

“To produce our handmade, quality products everybody at the creamery has to be committed and involved and these awards are recognition of the hard work of the whole team. The awards also recognise the quality of the milk we use, how it is handled and the way the cheese is produced, ripened and packaged.”

The Great British Food Awards, whose categories include dairy, cheese, drinks and savoury preserves, celebrate the country’s finest artisanal produce, as well as the hard-working people who create them.

Eden Smokie was named best Flavour Added Cheese by judge Steve Groves, a winner of MasterChef: The Professionals. He said Eden Smokie was: “An excellent Brie with well-judged smoking. The flavour and texture on the cheese is excellent and the smoke really lifts it to another level. Delicious.”

Eden Smokie is the smoked version of the company’s very popular brie. It is smoked in-house at the creamery in a traditional manner, using a subtle mix of apple and oak woods. Earlier this year it won Gold at the Great Yorkshire Show in the Speciality Cheese Maker, Cheese with Added Flavour Class and it also won a gold award at the International Cheese Awards in 2021.

The firm’s Eden Valley Brie has also previously garnered awards, winning Gold and Silver at the 2021 International Cheese Awards and being awarded 1 star at the Great Taste Awards 2022.

Tom Jackson, operations manager at Appleby Creamery, said the firm saw awards won as recognising the careful way the team at the creamery had maintained and developed recipes created when the company was founded in 2007, while always adhering to the original high standards and traditions.

Appleby Creamery, which employs 12 staff, is run by Mr Walton and Mark Callander, who is the fourth generation of his family to farm at Crofthead in Dumfriesshire in Scotland. Mark has spent the past 20 years developing and nurturing his Ayshire herd to produce high-quality milk from which most of Appleby Creamery’s cheese is made. Goats and sheep milk are also used in some products.

The company was founded in 2007 by Maurice and his wife Sandra, Alan Mandle and his wife Ruth and Bob Parmley. It started in smaller premises close by and, after continued expansion, moved to its current site four years ago.

The main focus of Appleby Creamery is producing white mould-ripened brie, but it also produces a range of hard territorial cheeses, such as Gloucester and Red Leicester, and some spreadable soft cheeses. Some products are produced specifically for the kosher market.

The firm has recently re-launched rice pudding, while custard is another dairy dessert which could follow soon.

Its cheeses are sold at high-end farm shops and retail outlets around Cumbria and further afield, such as the renowned Lewis & Cooper in Northallerton.

Appleby Creamery is keen to support the local community. Over the years it has taken on many local youngsters as apprentices and given them training. Operations manager Tom, now 30, joined as an apprentice at 19 and has since gained numerous industry qualifications. With continued support from the Creamery, he is now very close to completion of his MBA with the University of Cumbria.

The company supports Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland as its chosen charity.

The creamery operates as part of the Cows & Co Group, which includes Stephenson’s of Appleby, a traditional greengrocer on Boroughgate, which also trades at the weekly Sedbergh and Hawes markets.

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