Hi everyone, in case you didn't know - my name is Mark Rodgers and I am a self-confessed cheese addict, cheese-lover, cheesemonger and the brawn behind Cheese on Towcest' (that's what I tell myself anyway).
As Cheese on Towcest' turns two-years-old,
I thought it might be nice to reintroduce myself to our faithful customers and properly introduce myself to our newbies.
My love of cheese started way back in 1995 in Derbyshire, when I was 11 years old. Our geography teacher - Mrs Morris - brought Roquefort to the lesson (can you imagine that happening now? - the paperwork involved!) the tangy, creamy blue sheep's cheese got me hooked! I had always been partial to a bit of rubbery Cheddar or Red Leicester on a cracker up to this point but the textures and taste were something else.
Over the next 25 years I must have tried hundreds of different cheeses from across the world,
starting with French Brie, Canadian Slate aged Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Gorgonzola, Manchego even some of the smelly stuff that people pretend not to like. But even now, something keeps pulling me back to a traditional Blue Stilton. Show me a cream cake and a cream cracker with Stilton and I will take the cracker everyday (I might take the cream cake too though).
I set up my "homage to fromage" as a kind of a side hustle in 2020 as I couldn't get decent cheese on my Tesco home delivery due to the Covid pandemic and I was sitting at home bored - like most other people, hankering after the good stuff. The concept was simple - quality (British) cheese delivered to your door with crackers and chutney. My Plan-B continued to grow and eventually became Plan-A when I was made redundant from my job.
I absolutely love what I do now, the people I have met and some wonderful places I have visited for "work meetings" are far beyond anything I imagined when all this started.
Since it all began, we have served up almost 100 different cheeses from across the UK and Ireland to over 500 customers with orders coming from across the world, which blows my tiny mind in all honesty - but then it doesn't take much.
I used to take orders via Facebook and Instagram and sent out payment links and bank details - today we have a functioning website with subscription options, a blog, a newsletter, 9 different markets, wedding menus, tasting events, plenty of ways to get your fix, and I now also make cheese for The Northampton Cheese Company.
As Cheese on Towcest' heads into the third year of trading, I'll be bringing some new products to market, revamping our current offering to keep you all supplied with the best cheese this country produces -
there are over 800 currently in production so we have a long way to go yet.
You will of course still find me at the various markets across the locale and there will be a few exciting collaborations and tasting events coming up over the summer - keep your eyes peeled for how to book your places.
I want to say a huge thank you to all of you - my customers and followers - none of this would have been possible without you and there's nothing I love more than a connection through the cheese we enjoy!
And finally I couldn't have done any of it without the support of my awesome wife, Keeley.
She is the brains (in case you were wondering).
One of the perks of what I do is the endless supply of samples that need to be tasted and tested along with crackers, chutney and the odd bottle of wine - it's a hard job but Keeley helps me out!
This month, as ever, we sat down to sample this little lot - which can be ordered now on the website. July's cheese of the month is St Jude, from Suffolk. It's a boxed, soft rinded, wrinkly number with a lingering deep flavour - an absolute stunner if you ask me!