Slate, the Suffolk based specialist cheese retailer has been awarded the prestigious Independent Retailer of the Year Award at the recent Specialty & Fine Food Fair (dubbed ‘The Food Oscars’), in London.
The award was presented to Slate in acknowledgement of the company’s pioneering role as a retailer at the heart of its community, providing outstanding customer service and running new, exciting initiatives to help future-proof the sector.
Slate, which runs two shops in Aldeburgh and Southwold, demonstrated its exceptional commitment to customer care during the pandemic. Assisting the elderly and vulnerable, the company pivoted its product range to include ready-prepared meals, seasonal homemade soups and other staples that were in short supply.
In addition, last summer, Slate cemented its allegiance to the British dairy industry by raising money for the Got Milk Fund, which sought to support the sector by purchasing and re-distributing essential foods to communities in need via the charity Fare Share.
The prestigious award also recognised Slate’s dedication to the British cheese industry, playing a vital role in helping many smaller producers extend their reach beyond just their local farm shops and delicatessens. As avid champions of artisanal cheese, the Slate team is keen to spread the word on the many wonderful cheeses produced by the plethora of specialist producers represented in both the shops and via Slate’s popular online service and its hugely successful Cheese Club (monthly cheese subscription).
Commenting on the award, Clare Jackson, who along with her father John Ormerod, runs the family business said, “We’re absolutely delighted to have won this accolade. It means so much to have been selected from such a worthy shortlist of companies who all share the same dedication to delivering a best-in-class customer service. Without our lovely customers, we’d not have a business, so it makes absolute sense to take good care of them and to build long and lasting relationships. We love the fact that so much of our trade is built on word-of-mouth recommendation; this is largely down to the fact that we are fortunate enough to meet so many fabulous cheese makers and relay the stories behind each and every cheese that we sell, showcasing the exceptional skill and expertise behind these artisan producers.”