Training Courses with the Guild of Fine Food



At the heart of the fine food world since 1995, the Guild supports and promotes speciality food producers and the independent delis, farm shops and food halls that sustain them. Backed by 1,300 members, it runs the influential Great Taste and World Cheese Awards.

Charlie Turnbull and Jilly Sitch run a series of retail training courses for the Guild at venues throughout the UK.  See below for further details or visit to find out more.


The Ambient Deli Training Day:

  • 27 June – Guild House, Dorset
  • 4 October – Kensington, London
  • 26 October – Venue tba

Cracking Christmas Workshop:

  • 20 June – Harrogate Fine Food Show

This training programme is designed to equip managers of prospective, new or developing delis and farm shops with the business essentials of fine food and drink retailing. RetailReady builds on the Guild of Fine Food’s 21 years experience in the industry. Banks routinely recommend aspiring retailers to talk to us, often even before writing their business plans.

Retail ReadyRetailReady provides retailers with all they need to know to start achieving profitability with a deli or farm shop. Highlights include: how to write a business plan; financial planning; basic employment law; effective marketing; sourcing and managing suppliers; stock control and pricing. RetailReady begins with an intensive two-day course delivered by business experts with many years experience of the fine food and drink sector. This is supported by a distance learning workbook reinforcing the two training days, leading to an assessment and the issuing of a Guild of Fine Food diploma.

How is it structured? The course is delivered over two days and is a combination of inspired talks from experienced retailers and more informal discussion and Q&A sessions, giving delegates the chance to ask questions that really matter to them. The delegates take away a workbook and complete exercises and case studies in their own time, which forms an invaluable resource in their first years of trading.

Download an application form or email for more information.


Guild Members:

Early bird rate (book before 31/1/16): £270. Standard rate: £310

Non Members:

Early bird rate (book before 31/1/16): £310. Standard rate: £350



  • 10 & 11 October – Guild House, Dorset

Training is essential to retail success and is proven to dramatically increase turnover and improve your customers’ shopping experience.  The Guild retail cheese training course aims to educate and enthuse those who buy and sell cheese, and is a must for independent retailers.

Capitalise on the two major differences between independent fine food retailers and the supermarkets: the best selection of quality cheese and staff who can talk intelligently to customers about them.

This one day course running from 9.30 – 4.30pm will help you to:-

  • Enhance your understanding of the cheese making process
  • Recognise the main families of cheeses
  • Understand the impact of terroir has on cheese
  • Learn how to select, display, sell & care for cheese
  • Comparatively taste over 40 types of cheese
  • Sell proactively rather than reactively

Do what the supermarkets don’t do – train everyone in your store!


Guild Members:

£75 + 20% VAT (£90)

Non Members:

£100 + 20% VAT (£120)

Please e-mail if you have any queries or download an application form.


  • 18 April – Birmingham
  • 19 April – Cardiff
  • 11 May – London
  • 21 June – Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate
  • 28 June – London
  • 7 July – Guild House, Dorset
  • 6 October – London
  • 25 October – Newcastle
  • 31 Oct – Guild House, Dorset


This course is a must for all retailers, buyers and those involved in the supply trade

On this informative and entertaining training seminar you will:Charcuterie

  • Learn about the importance of the way the pig is reared in determining quality
  • Understand the various curing techniques
  • Understand the difference between mass produced and artisan
  • Appreciate the impact of tumbling, added water, dry and wet cured and comminuted meats.
  • Discover the best ranges to stock and the stories that encourage sales.
  • Acquire skills in cutting, storing and selling

Five good reasons why you and your staff should attend this seminar:

  • Improve the quality of your hams and charcuterie
  • Reduce wastage
  • Increase sales
  • Reduce staff turnover and increase motivation
  • Create better customer loyalty

Learn the five key ways to increase sales

  • Locating interesting meats
  • Educating the customer
  • Pro-active selling techniques
  • Charcuterie counters that work
  • Continuous comparative tastings

“I learnt more in a morning about British hams than in my previous five years in retailing…”

This comment was made by one satisfied deli owner after attending this interesting and entertaining full days’ training seminar. Following in the footsteps of the successful UK Cheese Guild training programme, this course tackles hams and charcuterie and is designed to help develop knowledge and build confidence.


Please e-mail for further information & course dates.

Download an  application form 


Guild Members:

£75 + 20% VAT (£90)

Non Members:

£100 + 20% VAT (£120)

  • 5 April – London
  • 10 May – London
  • 1 November – Guild House, Dorset