Biz Extra

Published: June 29, 2022 | Updated: June 30, 2022

“A wonderful success story” – Heather Brown spotlights The Book & Bucket Cheese Company

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Welcome to our latest column from Heather Brown, Owner of Dorset Foodie Feed, the county’s top food & drink website.

Dorset Foodie Feed and Dorset Biz News work collaboratively to share food & drink news features across both our platforms.

Our aim is simple: to help support and encourage the food and hospitality sectors by bringing positive news stories to our respective audiences.

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Heather writes…

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has been difficult for all industries and businesses but for those that were still fledgling businesses as lockdown took hold in March 2020, it had the potential to shut everything down just as it was getting going.

That was the case for The Book & Bucket Cheese Company and I caught up with the owner, Peter Morgan, to find out more…

If someone hasnt heard of The Book & Bucket Cheese Company before, who are you and what do you do?

We are an award-winning artisan cheese company based in Cranborne. We make all our cheese by hand using as many local producers as we can.

What made you start your business, and now that you are established, what makes you keep going?

I had been managing a company for nine years and felt it was the right time to step out on my own. Since that day we have had huge success including winning the Food Producer of the Year and Gold at the World Cheese Awards. It’s the interaction and feedback from the customers that drives me on though, to develop new products and to continue to improve everything we do.

Which is your favourite type of cheese and which new flavour tweak did you not expect to work which did?

My favourite right now has to be Wilde; it’s a soft cheese with locally foraged wild garlic from the Cranborne estate. My ‘go to’ cheese, though, has to be the Smokey Burns, our oak smoked halloumi style cheese… imagine smoked bacon as a cheese! It works so well in pasta, on pizza and of course in a burger!

How has the pandemic, Brexit and now the more recent cost-of-living crisis affected your business and customer behaviour? Do you have any tips to encourage consumers to support local businesses?

Covid hit us before we had been trading for a full year; for us it was a turning point for the company. We originally were only using sheep’s milk, but as Covid hit, a local farmer contacted us because he was having to pour milk away after his contract was cut. As a result, we agreed to buy the milk and from that developed a new cow’s milk range of cheeses. This opened many doors to new customers, and we now use around 4,000 litres of cow’s milk every week.

With the cost of living climbing, I think we all need to realise that buying local not only gives you the most amazing products, but keeps the money in our local area. It also supports those that supported us when the supermarkets had empty shelves and we all turned to our local farm shops and delicatessens for help.

Where and how can people buy your products?

Our cheese is sold throughout Dorset in local delicatessens and farm shops, as well as on menus in many pubs and restaurants. You can find an interactive map of all these on our website, along with a list of food festivals where you can come and meet us.

We also have an online shop which can be found at thebookandbucketcheesecompany.co.uk/shop

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It has been remarkable to witness the business journey that Peter has been on with The Book & Bucket Cheese Company.

To be forced to pivot so early on was extremely challenging, however, the company has developed many new successful ranges and, in the process, has managed to help many other people.

The Book & Bucket Cheese Company work hard to use local farmers and suppliers as well as using handmade techniques to make sure their cheese is top quality. It is a wonderful success story despite really difficult circumstances.

You can find more information about their cheese on their website – thebookandbucketcheesecompany.co.uk and you can also find recipes using Peter’s cheese in both the Taste of the West Country recipe book and the new book by The Pig – Restaurants with Rooms – Tales and Recipes from the Kitchen Garden and Beyond.