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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.

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)


Sell more cheese!

This practical and enabling course helps retailers to increase turnover and improve the customers’ shopping experience.

The course was revamped in 2015 with two new instructors – Charlie Turnbull, cheesemonger & Guild training coordinator Jilly Sitch – and a new focus on coaching delegates through every step of selling and caring for cheese.  The aim is to educate and enthuse those who buy and sell cheese, and is a must for all independent retailers and their team.

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 9am – 5pm starts by going ‘back to basics’ and begins with an overview of cheese, what it is, what’s in it, and how it’s made.  The course 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
  • Talk to your customers confidently and competently
  • Sell more cheese proactively rather than reactively

The course ends with a practical session on cutting, slicing and wrapping cheese, plus valuable advice on how to engage with your customers and SELL MORE CHEESE!

Download an application form here or contact for available dates and more information +44 (0)1747 825200 x 609.


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.



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


This popular workshop takes place every June at the Harrogate Fine Food Show.

Getting your sales right in December can save your year. Come and learn how you can crack Christmas trading from two retailers who have 30 successful festive seasons between them…

What will you learn

  • What a 2% increase in margin can do to your profitability
  • How to extend your Christmas sales into November
  • How you can play the cash flow game to your advantage
  • How to create a business plan specifically for this time of year
  • How to make sure your food shop is top of your customers Christmas list
  • How to manage wastage and stock season-specific products

The workshop runs from 10am-1pm allowing plenty of time to visit the show. Please call Jilly Sitch on +44 (0)1747 825200 or email for more details and workshop fees.