Suffolk is a county crammed with food and drink producers, growers and retailers.  Each year this thriving industry is celebrated with the "Eat Suffolk Food & Drink Awards".  

Back in the snowy days of February we were nominated in the category of "Best Independent Food & Drink Retailer".  This diverse category recognises retailers including butchers, bakers, farmers markets and delicatessens that have a passion for high-quality products and fresh local produce, as well as outstanding customer service.  High standards indeed to be measured against!  

In March we were delighted to host a judging visit from the fabulous chef and food writer Emma Crowhurst, and equally fabulous Becky Ames (we do love a fellow accountant!), partner at category sponsors Larking Gowen.  They visited our new Southwold shop and it was a pleasure to chat cheese with them!  

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During their visit we gave them a guided tour of our "wall of cheese" with lots of tastings.  We also talked to them about settling into our new location in Southwold, building our online business and how we share our passion for cheese with our customers. 

It was thrilling news just a few weeks ago to learn that we had made the final four alongside Ferguson's Deli in Hadleigh; Rolfes of Walsham; and Willow Tree Farm Shop in Glemsford.  Such an exciting achievement in our first year as Slate!  

We were excited to be invited to the Finalists dinner on 30th April at Wherstead Park near Ipswich.  Although it was a wet and blustery evening, Clare and Nico put on their glad rags and went along representing Slate.  

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It was party time with many familiar foodie faces from around Suffolk, delicious food including local asparagus, and lots of Adnams wine!   Sadly it wasn't our year for a win.  Rolfes of Walsham won the coveted “Best Independent Retailer” 2018 plate.  

We thorough enjoyed chatting to the team from Rolfes about about the recent opening of their second shop and how they smoke their own salmon.  Our congratulations to them, and also the other 2018 winners. 

Take a look at the full list on Suffolk FADA website.