What is important to us – people and cheese

Trethowan’s Dairy Shop would not exist without the support and unbelievably hard work of everybody in the shop, Borough Stall and on the farm, most notably Maugan and Kim, who continue to make and mature fantastic cheese. Below is a list of additional ideas and principles we think important.

Cheesemongering and Customer Service

Cheesemongering is an art, a skill and a tradition – something to be as proud of as cheesemaking.

Todd can make and sell his own cheese but it’s great to have really well trained mongers – as we now have. They have a broad depth of knowledge across all sorts of cheeses, can break them down perfectly and display them beautifully.  There is also an art to customer service – which can be learnt. You want the customer to go away happy. with new knowledge, a fantastic piece of cheese and wanting to come back.

Ben joining the business as shop manager was a turning point for us. He is great at all aspects of cheesemongering and is passionate, enthusiastic and great at keying in to customers’ needs. He is also great at all the record-keeping and stock control aspects of the business.” Todd

“Honesty is a really big part of good customer service when it comes to farmhouse cheese. We would never encourage a member of staff to sell something just to get rid of it. If a cheese isn’t tasting its best , its nice to alert people to the fact that its different from what they might have come to expect, tell them why and let them make an informed choice whether to buy it or not. No one is going to come back if they end up with a poor piece of cheese or feeling like they’ve been had”. Ben

Having the right ethos.

Because of the fantastic quality of all our cheeses, and the strong links we have with all the producers together with our desire to share our enthusiasm and knowledge make it feel as though as we are all part of something exciting. We are working with great people who have a lot to contribute and know that if they have a good idea, it will be listened to and acted on. The shop is a learning environment for all of us. Todd may have been making cheese for a long time but knows he has a lot to learn from the team, just as the team learn from him.

Having a great team

We have a great team, at the shop and the farm, who are passionate about cheese and  enjoy working together. Each have their own strengths and areas of expertise and we have learnt how important it is to match the right people to the right job.

For example, Alex, formerly manager of Bristol’s Fresh and Wild Speciality Foods counter and also an ex Chef and restauranteur, runs our small but expanding wholesale business from the shop. Chefs enjoy doing business with him because he speaks their language and understands their needs.

We want our team to be as excited to be part of Trethowan’s Dairy Shop and hope that they feel pleased to have the opportunity to:

be great cheesemongers

try their hand at affinage

work with top restaurants and chefs in Bristol and the surrounding areas

make cheese

attend courses and tasting events

attend Specialist Cheesemaker Association events

run stalls at food fairs and other markets

give talks at tutored tastings

give  tasting consultations and produce beautiful wedding cheese cakes

work on the stall at Borough Market and receive Neals Yard Dairy training

visit and work with cheesemakers

give radio and press interviews

Alex says, “On our stall at the Bristol Wine and Food Fair, it was fantastic to work alongside and give talks with Joe (Stichelton), Maugan and Kim (Gorwydd Caerphilly), Charlie (Ragstone, Peroche and Dorstone) and also Ned and Srdja from Neals Yard Dairy. It felt like there was a lot of cross pollination and an amazing depth and breadth of knowledge being passed over the counter to the customers.”

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