The Cheeseman launched the restaurant guide still seen on these pages today, back in 2002, and the “Restaurant of the Year Competition” in 2003. It has continued to sponsor this important national restaurant competition ever since, currently with three co-sponsors, and initially, as well as during some of the dark years of hyper-inflation, single-handedly, and in 2007 with return and current sponsor Afdis. It was revamped and rebranded the Zimbabwe on a Plate, Zimbabwe in a Glass Restaurants of the Year Competition in 2006 (Zoap). This is among The Cheeseman’s multiple contributions to society at large in Zimbabwe.
Report by Our Correspondent
While Zoap is concerned very much with a very enjoyable pursuit, namely, dining out in the country’s many excellent restaurants, and helping the trade by keeping entrants on their toes, striving to give the very best food, drink and service, and the dining public, by helping them choose restaurants suited to their requirements, The Cheeseman concerns itself with many other aspects of Zimbabwean life.
The company is strongly committed to environment and wildlife and lends its support to the Monavale Conservation Society, Mukuvisi Woodlands, and the Animal and Wildlife Area Research and Rehabilitation Trust, AWARE, run by qualified, concerned vets on a voluntary basis. AWARE focuses on wildlife welfare and the conservation of wildlife habitats, and within those concerns, also carries out domestic animal welfare activities, necessary both for the sake of these animals and because people, domestic animals and wildlife share proximate space and affect each other.
The Cheeseman was inspired by their very worthwhile efforts, recently pledging to assist AWARE in its important activities by creating awareness of the problems and their solutions and assisting in the education of the public on these all-important issues.
AWARE Trust rehabilitates wild animals injured directly or indirectly by humans and tackles disease threats to wildlife.
Improving the health of domestic animals adjoining wildlife areas benefits the animals themselves through vaccination, population control and better quality of health and life. It also benefits their owners, dependent on these animals for their livelihoods, reduces their need to poach from wildlife areas, and better controls diseases transmittable from animals to man and from domestic to wild animals. Services performed free of charge in rural areas by AWARE include sterilisation, vaccination, de-ticking and de-worming and other practicable health care for ill and injured animals.
Other services performed by AWARE’s volunteer vets include anti-poaching training courses, rhino de-horning in the fight against relentless poaching and possible extinction, and treating, rehabilitating and releasing where possible, wild animals injured by snares, vehicles, and people, generally.
Through its newsletter Slice of Life, launched last year, The Cheeseman educates the public on a range of other environmental issues. The Cheeseman also has a very active website and Facebook group, both updated on a daily basis.
The Cheeseman has always had a strong focus on the promotion of healthy eating and living, offering a product set dominated by health-giving foods, and both in the press and in its own communications — its website, Slice of Life newsletter and Facebook page — shares current health research findings with readers, both in terms of what we eat and drink, and by encouraging active lifestyles that enhance health and well-being.
History of the Cheeseman
The Cheeseman was launched in 1996 and originally operated out of a small cottage, first distributing Kefalos and Vumba Cheese products. It has continued to be a very active, visible advertiser in the print media, with an equally vibrant PR campaign, and to involve itself in its various carefully selected official sponsorships, throughout the difficult years this country has seen.
As a result, it has continued to survive, thrive and grow, even through hard times. Recently, Cheeseman outlets have opened up in Victoria Falls and Mutare, while the well-established Cheeseman Bulawayo continues to thrive. The company distributes a very wide range of both local and imported cheeses and other dairy, fish, seafood, coffee, fruit juice, jams, gourmet deli and other products too numerous to mention, throughout the country, as well as having its own retail outlet at its Meyrick Park headquarters.
The Cheeseman is also a strong supporter of the arts, particularly the Harare International Festival of the Arts, and in addition, this community minded organisation donates to several old age and children’s homes over the festive season and is quietly involved in a number of other worthy charitable activities and causes year round which, however, it chooses not to publicise.
It has a talented soccer team which competes in the Harare Marketers’ Soccer League, and in the just closed 2012 season, the enthusiastic Cheeseman FC took second place overall, and was defeated in only one match. A proudly Zimbabwean company, The Cheeseman has a cheerful, loyal workforce and with its steadfastly positive attitude through thick and thin is set for continued success.