Oxford gains new cheese shop, Jericho Cheese Company
A former Neal’s Yard Dairy cheese shop manager, Adam Verlander, has launched his own cheese shop in Oxfordshire, which he says has opened people’s eyes in the city to the quality of British cheese.
Jericho Cheese Company, which opened October 20 in an old Victorian building in Little Clarendon Street, use to be home to Uncle Sam’s Vintage American Clothing, and housed a butcher’s in the 1960s.
It expects to sell 30-35 cheeses depending on the season and availability. The range includes Montgomery Cheddar, Kirkham’s Lancashire, Appleby’s Cheshire, Colston Bassett Stilton, Hafod, Berkswell, Spenwood, Baron Bigod, Stawley and St Jude. Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano is the only non-British cheese.
Verlander spent five-and-a-half years at Neal’s Yard Dairy and says he has a passion for cheese. He enjoys being “hands-on” with the product, giving “real attention to quality” and supporting the producers.
The shop is not elitist he says – it’s aimed at “everyone and anyone with a passion for food. Everyone’s welcome to try them and take whatever it is they fancy.
“I want to get people involved in cheese, interested in how they vary, and how they’re tasting right now.”
Jericho Cheese Company does not yet have the infrastructure in place to offer cheeses online but Verlander hopes to sell online in about six months.
The company is on Twitter and Instagram and was close to making its website live when FFD called.
The shop, which has a floor area of about 215 sq ft, opens from 10am to 6pm Tuesday to Saturday.
“It’s early day but the reception has been really good. Within three or four days we had regular customers. Someone every day says that this is exactly what Oxford needs and they like the slant on British cheese.”
The 38-year-old has no plans to sell any complimentary products. “That would be a distraction,” he said.
It would also be unnecessary because the street, once nicknamed “Trendy Street”, could become known as “Little Foodie Street”, he hopes.
His neighbours include specialists that sell complimentary products: The Natural Bread Company, Demijohn – described as a liquid deli – Oxford Wine Café and Oddbins.
“All we need is a butcher’s and a fishmonger then ‘job done’,” he said.