From The Creamery to the local gift shop: learning from businesses big and small in Hawes

Wensleydale Creamery is an iconic local business and exemplifies what is possible here: a company with unimpeachable local roots, stretching back to the Cistercian monks in 1150, responsibly buying from local small dairy farmers, employing 200 people, and now exporting its Yorkshire cheese all over the world. It is also increasing its investment at Hawes, building a new dairy facility.

Government must make it easy for companies like Wensleydale Creamery to continue to prosper and invest – that will benefit the local economy a great deal. After meeting staff and seeing how cheese gets made, I enjoyed a good sapling in the tasting room. I can thoroughly recommend the Wensleydale and Cranberries, perfect for this time of year!  

I then went on to see all the independent shops in Hawes to hear from local shopkeepers. It was great to meet Helen Iveson, who runs the Mulberry Bush gift shop. Helen created a special Tour T Shirt, with the tag “Up t'hill and down t'dale” which has now sold all around the world and raised a lot of money for the Air Ambulance. It was a great example of how the internet enables a small business to reach a global audience for its products.