Posted: 24/02/2022

British cheesemongers add in-house production to their businesses

Cheesemaker Davide Tani’s collaboration with Belfast’s Indie Füde is just one of several examples of retailers moving into production

British cheesemongers are no longer just selling cheese; they are now making and maturing it themselves as they develop into must-visit cheese destinations.  

Several retailers have announced ambitious new ventures for 2022, which will see them move into cheese production as a way of adding value to products and attracting shoppers. 

Northern Irish deli and cheesemonger Indie Füde has teamed up with local cheese company Velocheese to open a shop and cheesemaking unit in February at Belfast’s Banana Block – a living museum, bar and events space. 

The 100 sq m space will house a shop, maturing rooms and cheesemaking laboratory, where Velocheese owner Davide Tani, who is from Sardinia, will make mozzarella, burrata and scamorza. The production area will also host cookery, cheesemaking and tasting classes.

“We’ve seen similar developments in craft beer and gin, and now cheese is going the same way,” said Indie Füde co-owner Johnny McDowell. “People want to learn more about where their food comes from.”

The Newt in Somerset estate, which is home to gardens, a hotel and farm shop, will also soon be making its own cheese after receiving permission to convert buildings next to Castle Cary railway station into a creamery, complete with café, retail and office space. The new development will be used as an “initial arrivals hub” for guests travelling to The Newt from London.

Meanwhile, The Courtyard Dairy in Yorkshire plans to become “the epicentre of traditional farm-made British cheese” by more than doubling the size of its premises with a newly expanded museum, café, shop and cheese maturation cave for ageing cheese made by an on-site cheesemaker. 

Paxton & Whitfield also plans to create its own unique cheeses using state-of-the-art maturing rooms at its new headquarters in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Meanwhile, award-winning Leeds cheesemonger George & Joseph has acquired the lease of a railway arch in the city.

“We have plans to start doing our own maturing and affinage,” said owner Stephen Fleming. “A couple of my team have affinage experience and they’re keen to see where we can take some of the cheeses.” 

The arch will also host events with other food and drink retailers. “There should be a really nice vibe down there. We’re thinking the Bermondsey of the North,” said Fleming.

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