Burt's Cheese: full of flavour - and confidence - with SALSA plus Cheese!


Based in Knutsford, in the heart of Cheshire, Burt's Cheese is a small artisan cheese company

They produce a range of handmade blue and soft cheeses. The small team of just two full-time employees is headed up by Claire Burt, Director, who started the business in 2009.

Today, their range includes Burt's Blue, a veined semi-soft, Drunken Burt washed in cider and the third, Divine wrapped in vine leaves. All their cheeses are suitable for vegetarians and are supplied either as a mini truckle or a larger wheel. They are currently stocked by a growing number of prestigious cheese shops, food stores and delis including the Cheshire Smokehouse, Harvey Nichols Manchester, the East London Cheese Board and E H Booth's.

Claire's passion for cheesemaking and her previous career in the dairy industry, inspired her to pursue her interests and launch Burt's Cheese. Successfully winning Gold at the International Cheese Awards in 2010 was a real turning point. Claire decided to upscale the business and move to their current premises in 2013, knowing this was a positive step which would allow the business to grow. In 2016, Claire looked to gain SALSA. 'I felt that SALSA plus Cheese approval would help the business develop and raise our standards. Suppliers are always requesting third party certification and SALSA seemed a good match for the size and scope of our business.'

Burt's Cheese started on the SALSA approval journey in 2016 and quickly gained their certification in April 2017. As an artisan cheesemaker, the business selected SALSA plus Cheese certification, a unique audit certification for a cheese business of their size. The requirements cover the regular audit SALSA requirements, additional clauses, and an additional module on artisan cheesemaking developed in association with the Specialist Cheesemakers Association. Audits are conducted by specially trained SALSA auditors with a depth of experience in this growing industry sector. 'The audit day was actually really enjoyable. Our auditor was so knowledgeable and very willing to share all that knowledge and experience - we learnt so much,' says Claire.

Burt's Blue was the first cheese they launched, a semi-soft blue made from quality milk sourced from a local dairy for a richer flavour. The cheese won the Gold award at the ICA in 2010 and really started the journey for the business. In 2011 came further awards at the Fine Food Awards and British Cheese Awards. Lancashire chef Simon Rimmer then used it on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch for his recipe for figs marinated in sweet sherry with Burt's Blue cheese salad.

Gaining certification has given the business a boost of confidence to approach new clients and has helped secure new contracts, the latest being with retailer E H Booths. 'Achieving approval has been a great, positive step for the business,' adds Claire. 'It has given us confidence not only in our products but also in our operational standards which will now enable the business to grow further.'

For more information on Burt's Cheese please see the SALSA Directory or visit their website: http://www.burtscheese.co.uk/