• Iona

The Ribblesdale Cheese Groupon

I had a day off today, the first in a while.  Back in the shop tomorrow, so time is precious and too much falls by the wayside.  After four lots of washing, a bit of tidying, in between playing with the pigs, I settled down outside in the bit that passes for a garden, (it is grey and overcast here in North Yorkshire), but never mind, with a few month’s worth of Economists and my ipod blasting out through the window.  Bliss!  Except for the chickens trying to peck my toes.  I should know not wear flip flops in the presence of the chickens, it seems to be an open invitation to try a piece of toe.

I do not read newspapers anymore and I don’t watch tv (except Midsomer Murders, I know, so camp and silly, but I will turn the telly on for a new episode).  Other than for studying, all I read these days is The Economist at home and at work: The Grocer, Speciality Food and the Fine Food Digest.  I get my news from Radio 4‘s Today program in the mornings and The First Post daily e-mail news.  But I digress.

In an August edition of The Economist there was a rather interesting article about Groupons, an idea for promoting groups of people to attend really posh New York restaurants (whose trade is suffering in the recession) where they can eat and drink at around half the price, but there has to be a group of them to make it worthwhile for the restaurant. 

Although the article was about New York, but the Groupon idea started in Chicago and ‘uses collective buying power to offer unbeatable prices and provide a win-win for businesses and consumers’.  I like it.  I like it a lot.

That got me thinking.  In one of my Leeds MSc modules, we were encouraged to think up new ways of selling.  I drew a blank, which was pretty useless; this, however, could be a great way to encourage discerning cheese lovers to group together and buy a mass of cheese at a sensible price to share between them.  But how to tell people of our Groupon…..?  The shop maybe, but I think we have to be cleverer than this.  Hhhmm.

I reckon we could offer the following, say 12 of our 2kg hand waxed cheeses, all you would need for a great cheese board for a few people to share between them.  We can send use Parcelforce to do a next day (UK only) delivery, and perhaps we should bear the cost.  If it sounds a lot of cheese,  you can freeze hard cheese:

  1. Superior Goat – our prize winning best seller, a brilliant introduction to goat cheese, mild, creamy with a slight tang 

  2. Smoked Superior – Stuarts favourite – we smoke it, it is really subtle

  3. Original Goat – the cheese we make most of and our second best seller; stocked by Booths supermarket

  4. Goat Cheddar – prize winning, now two years old, loads of flavour and a great texture

  5. Maybe our unpasteurised goat cheese (still don’t have a name for it), lots of flavour, probably our strongest cheese

  6. Blue Goat – creamy base and gentle blueing

  7. Matured Goat – also a prize winner, Edith’s favourite; the vegetarian alternative to parmesan and use by Gary Rhodes in his Ribblesdale Carbonara (see Recipe section for his recipe)

  8. An Original Sheep – also award winning, light and crumbly with a good, long aftertaste

  9. 2 of our lovely, creamy, rich and crumbly Wensleydales

  10. Then maybe some fabulous, proper Double Gloucester, or a matured Cheddar or maybe some Brie, or a smoked version of the above 

This should represent a fairly balanced cheese board.  The 12 cheeses would weigh about 25kgs in total.  Each cheese is a little over 2kgs but can be cut into portions to share by the recipients, or maybe we can hand wax quarters.  It’s a thought.

What do you think?  All suggestions and ideas more than welcome!

#buyingcheese #groupons #Wheretobuygoodcheese #cheesegroupon #RibblesdaleCheese

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