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Coombe Castle.

Coombe Castle has grown into a thriving dairy exporter after emerging from the discarded export arm of Unigate in the 1970s. It has been built up by Glyn Woolley, who started working with Unigate's former export partners in 1980, focusing on high-margin premium cheeses, fulfilling orders from North America, Japan and the Far East.

The business has grown rapidly and now Woolley spends much of his time marketing new cheeses from small end medium UK producers. Today the US division of Coombe Castle alone is worth $25m at wholesale. It expanded by 66% lest year, allowing the company to recruit salesmen on the east and west coasts of America. That success has been built on the wide range of premium British cheese that the company exports, both in 3.5kg wheels for dell counters and in smaller retail-ready wedges. It also owes 30% of its turnover to Devon cream, which is in demand from British expats and dells globally.

Of the cheese offer, about half of the lines are Castle Coombe-branded, although big successes have come from other brands, such as Denhay's Dorset Drummer. In America, Coombe Castle products are in major multiples as well as many dells.

Innovation is also driving sales with additive cheeses a big hit, Woolley adds. "The fruited Stiltons are doing very well at present and our latest product is Cerise--a white Stilton with sweet, dark cherries that women soy is better than chocolate.

"But the biggest success of the post 12 months has been Cheddar with caromelised onions."
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Title Annotation:EXPORTS; focusing on high-margin premium cheeses
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 9, 2006
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