WEST Dorset cheesemonger Justin Tunstall, pictured, is feeling ‘grate’ after winning a national award.

Mr Tunstall, known as the Town Mill Cheesemonger in Lyme Regis, was crowned the cream-cheese of the crop in the Farm Shop and Deli Awards ‘Cheesemonger of the Year’ category.

The contest attracted 300 entries nationwide and Justin was one of 12 winners in the separate categories.

He said: “Wow! There are some truly great cheese shops in the UK, so it’s a real honour to come first.

“I blushed as I read some of the comments on the awards nominations from the regular customers, without whom our business wouldn’t exist.

“We try to treat every customer as though they are a ‘mystery shopper’ and I’m so proud of my staff who, as with all our visitors, ensured that the expert who judged us came away having had a great experience and clutching some outstanding cheeses.

“The win will put a real spring in our steps when we reopen on February 13, after our winter break.”

The awards were designed to celebrate the unsung heroes of the high street and speciality retail scene, with categories ranging from butchers to garden centres.

The Town Mill Cheesemonger will now go head to head with the other 12 winners to compete for the overall Retailer of the Year, with the winner announced on March 24, at a glitzy ceremony in Birmingham.