The best places in Aotearoa to buy cheese – Stuff

The Bay of Plenty boasts some of the best beaches in the world, but now it is adding cheese to its accolades as two Tauranga retailers have been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Top New Zealand cheese store’.
Te Puna Deli in Tauranga and Fresh Choice Pāpāmoa have both been awarded the title which guarantees buyers “an outstanding experience buying locally made cheese.”
Retailers across New Zealand were assessed by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association in October.
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Simon Doole, owner of Fresh Choice Pāpāmoa said the store stocked mostly New Zealand cheeses, and still cut many cheeses from the wheel.
“We used to get people coming in for international cheeses, but we have experimented and introduced amazing cheeses produced here in New Zealand. It’s not only better value for money, but it feels the right thing to do to support New Zealand businesses.”
Doole said the Cranky Goat Lynton cheese was popular – a soft rind white cheese.
“People also love this amazing creamy blue cheese called Tasman Blue by Little River Estate. We introduce new varieties by regularly offering in store cheese tastings.”
Doole said that customers still added cheese to their trolleys despite the rising food prices.
”If you love cheese, you just have to have it, and even if it is a treat, people are still coming for their favourites. Our costs have increased across the board, but we try to keep them down for people and stay competitive.”
Cheese – along with eggs and yoghurt have been among the key drivers increasing our grocery bills over the past year. Stats NZ’s latest Food Price Index showed prices were up 8.3% in August compared with a year earlier.
Te Puna Deli in Tauranga was noted for its philosophy selling fresh produce from locals and buying in bulk to reduce packaging and this philosophy extends to NZ cheese.
“They stock an extensive range of New Zealand cheeses which shoppers can match with locally made accompaniments such as chutneys, relishes and daily fresh sourdough. The team regularly taste and receive cheese education meaning they’re always happy to make suggestions and recommendations to customers, “ said the judges.
Accreditation of the stores was made after evaluation by specialist food judges Kathy Paterson and Kerry Tyack.
“Cheese demands careful treatment that pays homage to the intricacies of its production. Delivering a range of cheese in the very best condition and in a way that recognises each style of cheese’s special character is a complex business. It’s so very heartening to see more effort being put into these aspects of cheese promotion and sale and its ultimate enjoyment,” said Tyack.
Two more retailers in the South Island joined the Tauranga stores as debutantes for the title – FreshChoice Merivale in Christchurch and Geraldine Cheese Company, Geraldine.
These four stores join 14 others from Auckland to Oamaru which sell locally made cheese and are recognised as top New Zealand stores.
The Top NZ Cheese Stores 2022 and 2023 are:
• Farro, Grey Lynn
• Farro, Lunn Ave (Mt Wellington)
• Farro, North Store
• Sabato, Mt Eden
• Over the Moon Dairy, Putaruru
• Over the Moon Deli, Cambridge
Bay of Plenty
• Te Puna Deli, Tauranga
• FreshChoice Pāpāmoa, Tauranga
Hawke’s Bay
• Hōhepa, Clive
• New World Hastings
• C’est Cheese, Featherston
• Moore Wilson’s, Tory Street
• The Junction Shop, Appleby
• Barrys Bay Cheese, Akaroa
• Charing Cross Cheesery, Riverside Market
• FreshChoice Merivale
South Canterbury
• Geraldine Cheese Co
North Otago
• Whitestone Cheese, Oamaru
© 2022 Stuff Limited


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