Although famous for our delicious Wensleydale, Yorkshire is home to a great variety of cheese. From blue to brie and cows’ to ewes’ you might be surprised at the range available. And, just as there are many different cheeses, there are many different cheesemakers too.
In fact, just within the small village of Hawes, where our beloved Wensleydale is made, there are two producers and you’ll find both in our cheese counter.
Compared to Wensleydale Creamery, Ribblesdale Cheese is the smaller of the two cheesemakers, but that doesn’t stop their range from being incredibly tasty. They’re a little quirky too – thanks to a strong focus on goats’ and ewes’ cheese.
Originally located in Ribblesdale, the business was formed by Iain Hill in 1978. He’d recently received a redundancy payment and was told by his wife to ‘do something useful’ with it, so he bought two goats! When one of these goats unexpectedly gave birth to two kids and started producing milk, Iain’s drinking buddy, the local vet, suggested he start making cheese. And that’s how the company started.
Now Ribblesdale Cheese is managed by Iain’s niece, Iona Hill, who took over the business when her uncle sadly passed away in 2006. Over the years Iona has developed the business to the extent that it moved to a bigger premises in 2008, which is when they found themselves in Hawes – and in Wensleydale rather than Ribblesdale.
Ribblesdale Cheese operates on a much bigger scale than it ever did under Iain, but Iona is keen to ensure that all the cheese is still made by hand using traditional methods. And, although she has employed a cheesemaker Stuart Gatty, she still takes a hands on approach and has developed all the recipes used herself.
We regularly stock the Goats’ Natural Rind, ‘Owd Ewes’ (which is another natural rind cheese) and the Gouda Gold. Why not pop into the store to try a sample of Ribblesdale Cheese and find out more about the different varieties available here in Yorkshire? We’re open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.