Alex Dunbar of Bath Soft Cheese looked stunned last week as he was given news of his coup by Tesco commercial director Carolyn Bradley.
The family business won the award for its Wyfe of Bath cheese, a semi-hard organic product named after a bawdy Chaucer tale and currently on sale only in specialist retailers.
A panel of 17 judges, including The Grocer’s Richard Clarke, judged the cheese the best of 73 entries. It will now be sold in deli counters across the Tesco estate from November.
Last year’s winner - Phillip Stansfield of the Cornish Cheese Company - claims the prize has more than doubled his company’s turnover.