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A specialist cheesemonger in Haddington has become the latest food and drink offering in the region to receive a Quality Assurance award from the national tourism organisation.
The Cheese Lady, which recently moved to larger premises in the town’s Court Street, has achieved 4-Star Tourist Shop in the world-renowned VisitScotland Quality Assurance grading scheme.
The premises, which stocks around 100 different farmhouse and artisan cheeses as well as a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and condiments, has also opened a micro café. The Cheese Lady achieved a Taste Our Best Award in recognition of its Scottish Cheese Platter. VisitScotland’s Taste Our Best Award recognises businesses that use quality Scottish ingredients and fresh, seasonal and local produce, as well as staff who have knowledge about the food and drink on offer.
East Lothian’s food and drink offering is going from strength to strength with recent innovative developments including the addition of Buck and Birch, producers of wild spirits and liqueurs, and the success of the Drift café in North Berwick.
East Lothian is also set to be the location for a new food and drink innovation hub, with £40million funding secured through the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, following on from Scotland’s Food & Drink Country becoming the first Food & Drink Business Improvement District in Scotland in 2016.
VisitScotland Regional Director Neil Christison said: “Congratulations to The Cheese Lady on this well-deserved 4-Star Quality Assurance award and Taste Our Best recognition.
“This latest award comes at an exciting time for food and drink in East Lothian. The region is ideally positioned with its rich natural larder and innovative products to offer locals and visitors food and drink experiences to remember.
“Food and drink is an integral part of the visitor experience and we work closely with communities and businesses to promote the use of Scottish produce within the tourism industry and support businesses to deliver quality products and experiences for all.
“Tourism is a force for good. It creates jobs, sustains communities and contributes significantly to the economy.”
Svetlana Kukharchuk, owner of The Cheese Lady, said:
“This recognition from VisitScotland will help promote our quality offering to locals and visitors to East Lothian. We moved to our new larger premises one year ago so it is fantastic to have our hard work recognised in this way and we look forward to continuing to develop our products in the future.”
Elaine Carmichael on behalf of Visit East Lothian said:
“Congratulations to Svetlana on achieving this recognition. We know that our fantastic food and drink businesses are a big draw for tourists visiting East Lothian – and a huge bonus for those of us lucky enough to live here! I hope this award helps The Cheese Lady business to keep on growing and innovating. Visit East Lothian encourages all of our local businesses to seek accreditation and awards via VisitScotland schemes as it helps to put them and East Lothian firmly on the tourism map – and assures customers that they’re indulging in a quality product or service.”
VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme has been refreshed in line with the changing landscape, and in consultation with industry, to continue to provide a trusted, relevant and impartial source of information for visitors, as well as the businesses taking part.
VisitScotland has recently undertaken a pilot programme of visits to test the new procedures, health and safety protocols and risk assessments which have been introduced since the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a key first step towards the return of in-person grading visits for all members, which is expected to resume later this year.
For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, visit: https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/visitor-experience/quality-assurance-ratings
For more information on The Cheese Lady, visit: thecheeselady.co.uk
Quality food and drink on offer in East Lothian. A specialist cheesemonger in Haddington has become the latest food and drink offering in the region to receive a Quality Assurance award from the national tourism organisation.