For the final edition of Speciality Spotlight in 2022, we spoke to Edward, founder of online cheese subscription service, Cheesegeek. From starting his career in finance to getting investment from Steven Bartlett on Dragon’s Den, Edward has created a modern brand to make British artisan cheese more widely accessible. Over the past few years, the business has gone from strength to strength, offering cheeseboxes, gifting services and most recently a cheese & cracker advent calendar for Christmas, of course, including our Sourdough Crackers.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how cheesegeek started?
I’ve always absolutely loved cheese but spent over a decade in finance. In 2017, I finally decided to release my own inner cheesegeek, and try and get more of the UK excited about British cheese. I strongly felt there was no modern brand that reflected the 21st Century consumer within the artisan cheese space.
I started out from my mum’s utility room and spent hours selecting and allocating cheese, and now we have 7,500 sq ft dedicated to cheese, with our own algorithm which can select cheeses faster than 5,000 of me.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
There are a few big moments that stand out. For example, getting investment on Dragon’s Den from Steven Bartlett, an investor who would never have imagined investing in the cheese industry. Or internally, building an incredible tech stack from scratch. But really the thing I am most proud of is how many cheesemakers we’ve supported, and how many new people have found a love for cheese thanks to what we’ve built.
What are your top tips for creating the ultimate Christmas cheeseboard?
We all have a whole host of traditions when it comes to Christmas, but would Christmas really be Christmas without a Christmas cheese board?
Here are the basics for creating the ultimate Christmas cheeseboard (focus is on the cheese, always). Number one, we want the cheese to taste amazing, of course! That means getting the cheese to room temperature before it is being eaten and trying to serve cheese in larger wedges and pieces rather than tiny bits that can deteriorate quickly. I would usually say 4-5 pieces of cheese provides enough variety, covering different milks (cow, sheep, goat) but also styles (hard, soft, blue). I also like to create visual variation with different colours (e.g. Sparkenhoe Red Leicester or Shropshire Blue). Last but not least, ensure you enjoy the cheeses in the right order, from mild to strong.
We would love to know what is your favourite cheese & Peter’s Yard cracker?
Try Tunworth (a camembert style cheese, but better) with truffle honey on Peter’s Yard Original Sourdough Crackers – you’ll never forget the first time!
At Peter’s Yard, our ethos is all about taking time for the simple pleasures in life – tell us, what are your favourite pastimes?
I love playing golf, and often my best inspiration comes when I am out on the golf course, and totally relaxed.
Finally, what’s next for cheesegeek in 2023?
Our ambition every year is the same. Getting more people access to great British artisan cheese. How we do that is the fun bit, so watch this space!
Discover more about Cheesegeek here.
Sourdough crackers and crispbreads
Our hand-baked sourdough crackers and crispbreads are the perfect accompaniment to the ultimate British cheeseboard.