Home' Hospitality Business : HB APL 2017 Contents HOW LONG HAS WHITESTONE BEEN IN THE
BUSINESS AND WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
Whitestone was started in Oamaru as a diversification from our sheep,
beef and cropping enter prise thirty years ago, it is 100 percent family
owned and operated by the Berr ys.
WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY’S MISSION AND
WHO IS YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE?
We employ over 50 full time equivalent people and our mission is
to lead New Zealand’s specialty cheese industry in both quality and
innovation, to champion our New World Cheese developments by
exporting hero cheeses to key inter national markets.
WHAT’S YOUR PRODUCT RANGE? DO YOU HAVE
ANY NEW PRODUCTS IN THE PIPELINE?
Tweny five cheeses now being produced.We have new goat’s milk cheeses
coming out next season plus some exciting developments on the cow’s
milk side.We are always exper imenting and presently we are working on a
boutique range of flavoured butters, a category we see as having potential.
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES YOU FROM YOUR COMPETITION?
WHAT INNOVATIONS HAVE YOU SEEN OR INTRODUCED?
Our local high quality North Otago milk; pastures flour ish on our
limestone based soils producing world class milk to work with. New
Zealand’s first; retail platter pack, cheese tin, probiotic cheese, smoked
butter, beer cheese.
Our cur rent range of butters are all traditionally chur ned on site and
hand wrapped.We have also developed our own blue mould strain which
differentiates our blue cheese from others to the extent that our Wisconsin
Silver medal Vintage Windsor Blue is now sought after in Par is.
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR INGREDIENTS?
From local North Otago cow’s milk, our fresh goat’s milk is sourced
from the South Canterbury and we are developing a local fresh sheep
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR MILESTONES OF THE COMPANY?
• Thirty years of cheesemaking this year. Our founder Bob Ber ry
being awarded MNZM at Gover nment House in 2016 Achieving
2nd place in the World Cheese Championships in Wisconsin last year
with our Vintage Windsor Blue.
• Supplying key accounts internationally including The Oscars,Tom Cruise’s
super yacht, Scrubs TV,The Playboy Mansion,The Halberg Awards, plus
numerous celebrity weddings, high end restaurants and airlines.
• Our factory has grown with sales over the years with some
significant milestones including our blue cheese plant, white mould
facilities, butter chur n, chilled storage, plus some exciting new
equipment to be installed later this year.
WHICH MARKETING CHANNELS DO YOU
USE TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS?
Social, print, digital, sponsorship, mobile caravans, direct to consumer,
plus our first billboard in Auckland.
HOW MUCH IS STORYTELLING IMPORTANT
FOR YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY?
Hugely.We have an honest and open story to tell about our People,
Product and Place. All are true to source and they are the “brand pillars”
which we base our story upon.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS FOR FUTURE EXPANSION?
Yes. We cur rently have a significant factory expansion underway to
meet both domestic and inter national demand.We have recently
retur ned from France where we explored their cheese regions, inspiring
fresh new developments. The NZ market is still young when it comes
to specialty cheese and butter flavours, and it is exciting to know we
have plenty of scope to explore.
MAJOR CURRENT (AND FUTURE) CHALLENGES
AND OPPORTUNITIES FACED?
There are some poor quality imported dairy products filling our
super market shelves that drag standards down. One challenge is to
introduce these consumers to our quality NZ products and retain
their custom. We see opportunities in convenience offer ings plus more
complex cheese and flavoured butters, which we are developing.
Would be great to see more raw milk cheeses being made in NZ
where compliance costs are a major challenge
Service delis developing cheese maturation and presentation skills,
ageing wheels in store, slicing from the wheel direct to customers.
Having fun combining flavours, getting really creative with premium
butters, introducing interesting condiments to cheese platters, enjoying
and explor ing new flavour and texture combinations. n
key to world
HB talks to Simon Berry CEO & Director of Whitestone
22 | April 2017 | Hospitality BUSINESS
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