When our Co-Founders, Ian and Wendy, started to research the appetite for a high quality cheese cracker over 12 years ago, they sought the advice of people who knew a lot about food. Ian regularly shops for cheese at La Fromagerie and introduced Wendy to Patricia and La Fromagerie Director, Sarah. They were both extremely helpful, knowledgable and supportive and were one of the first customers to launch the Peter’s Yard range. We’re delighted to say they have been selling it ever since, which is why we couldn’t think of a better independent to feature for our second ‘Speciality Spotlight’.
La Fromagerie London has three award-winning foods shops in Marylebone, Bloomsbury and Highbury along with a Café & Restaurant. Each site has their signature walk-in Cheese Room – founded over 30 years ago by cheese expert Patricia Michelson
What made you want to open La Fromagerie?
It all started when Patricia, our founder, was on a skiing holiday in Meribel in the Savoie – it’s here where she fell in love with the cheese Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage. She wanted to start a micro business concentrating on artisan alpine French cheeses, and slowly over the 30 years the business has grown, developed and championed small independent producers, traditional foods that tell you the story of land, regions, seasons, people and identity.
Tell us something we may not know about La Fromagerie?
Over the past 30 years we have met and become friends with many producers, and if there is one thing that stands out, we like to tell their stories and allow our customers to know where we get the produce from. Similarly, we are very interested in supporting young entrepreneurs and have been mentoring businesses where we can. We know what it’s like to start a business from scratch with just a burning desire to do something we feel passionate about – and we want to encourage other fledgling businesses and young people to start their journey in the knowledge that there is someone to talk to and ask advice.
What is it that you love about the artisan food industry?
It’s the traditions and relationship with the product, whether handed down by generations, or one that has been learnt. All big businesses look to the smaller artisan for inspiration. The artisan is his own person, who is unique and willing to throw himself into his work to share with those wanting to buy his produce.
How did you find out about Peter’s Yard and what made you want to stock our products?
We were interested in reading about how the business started and how the ethos behind the business was never going to be compromised. The quality and consistency has always been there and even though the business has grown, the range still has a very artisan feel about it.
What cheese / topping would be your perfect pairing with Peter’s Yard?
We love the hard alpine style cheeses but also the fresh goat cheeses too, but most of all we love the biscuits thickly spread with a delicious Italian soft Robiolina cheese and topped with thin ribboned slices of smoked salmon – with a final flourish of a sprig of dill and a squeeze of lemon.
Finally, What’s next for La Fromagerie?
We want to continue what we are doing, but also love the idea of growing our online offerings – shipping boxes of the La Fromagerie experience to all parts of the United Kingdom and beyond. But most of all, we want customers to enjoy the produce we bring into the shops in many ways, either as takeaway, at supper clubs, virtual cheese and wine tutorials – as well as in-house together with our bar and restaurant side. La Fromagerie is a complete lifestyle for those who want to immerse themselves in our world of cheese, wine and hand made, hand reared, hand grown produce.