To have one of your products named the best in its category is impressive. But when two of your products receive the highest honours, that's simply extraordinary. That's what happened to Bothwell Cheese in November 2016, when two of its cheeses - Monterey Jack and Mild Cheddar - were named the best at the British Empire Cheese Show. When I realized a company founded in 1936 by a few Manitoba farmers was setting the standard for others, I knew I wanted to hear more.
I reached out to Megan Deaust, Manager of Product Marketing at Bothwell Cheese. Here's how the conversation went:
Q. Bothwell has been producing cheese since 1936, and you've just won two top prizes at the British Empire Cheese Show. How is the company able to thrive and innovate, 80 years in?
A. Product innovation and responding to customer demand is a cornerstone of our business. Recently we've been growing rapidly, but we're still small enough to innovate exciting new products while adhering to our strict quality standards. That helps us shine in competitions.
Q. I know you're committed to sourcing most of your products locally. What does that mean in practical terms?
A. Our cheese has always been made with locally-produced milk. There are no artificial ingredients, preservatives, or modified milk ingredients used in the production of our cheeses. That's just our way of life.
Q. Where do you sell your cheeses, and which flavours are the most popular?
A. Our products are available across Canada. Jalapeño Monterey Jack is our number one selling variety nationally. We've seen an upsurge in our smoked varieties, and Red Wine Extra Old Cheddar and Black Truffle are particularly popular during the holiday season.
Q. What was it like to win two first prize awards?
A. We were thrilled - the awards validated our hard work and dedication. Our Product Manager, Nathan Dueck, represented Bothwell Cheese at the show. He personally selected the cheese that we entered this year; clearly he has an award-winning palate! The British Empire Cheese Show is judged by industry members - our peers - and it was an honour for them to acknowledge our attention to quality.
Thanks to Megan for taking the time to talk with me!
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- Tags: Award winning cheese, Best cheese, Bothwell cheese, British Empire Cheese Show, Cheddar cheese