ACCOLADE: Alison and Jonathan Raper celebrating award success at their new premises in Copley, where they hope to triple production of their popular cheeses
ACCOLADE: Alison and Jonathan Raper celebrating award success at their new premises in Copley, where they hope to triple production of their popular cheeses

A DALE company is delighted to have been named as a runner up in the artisan category of this year’s Great British Cheese Awards.

Alison and Jonathan Raper, who run Teesdale Cheesemakers, were thrilled with the accolade, which was announced at a special ceremony held at Somerset House, in London.

The Great British Cheese Awards were established three years ago to celebrate the best of British artisan cheeses produced and distributed by independent producers and retailers.

The awards have grown significantly each year and this time more than 13,000 people voted for their favourite producers and retailers.

It is the second, consecutive year the dale couple have been nominated in the artisan category, narrowly missing out on an award last year.

Mrs Raper, said: “It’s just amazing that we were nominated and put through to the public vote.

Blenkiron

“I’m not sure who nominated us, but it was a wonderful experience to be named runner up especially as there were much more experienced artisan cheesemakers there.”

Mr and Mrs Raper have moved their cheesemaking operation from Rokeby to new premises at Pond Farm, Copley, and hope the larger facilities will enable them to triple production.

Wendy Wilson-Bett, co-founder of Peter’s Yard, and Ollie Lloyd, founder of Great British Chefs, who organised the awards, said: “Congratulations to Teesdale Cheesemakers for being a named runner-up.

“It is a great achievement and well-deserved recognition for their dedication and expertise in making fantastic quality artisan cheese.

“We were really pleased to receive a large number of high quality entries and a record number of nominations from the general public. They have been instrumental in selecting and rewarding the very best artisan cheese producers and retailers.”