Meet the Team
Hampshire Cheese Company has grown from strength to strength. Stacey Hedges, the Founder, credits its success to her expert team. Over the coming weeks, we’re introducing the team that are so integral to these award-winning cheeses.
Today, we meet Piotr.
Q. Where did your passion for cheese stem from?
My name is Piotr, I grew up in a big family in one of the largest villages in Poland. I moved to England eleven years ago, and met my fiancée. I am a certified car mechanic, but I never pursued this as a profession, instead keeping it as a hobby! I decided to hone in on the experience I gained as a young boy working in a flour mill in Poland, starting my first job in the UK as a kitchen assistant in 2011. I later advanced to a chef de partie role – an extremely challenging job that I spent six years doing! I love working in the food industry but wanted to expand my experience and try something new. I started the hunt for a new job, which led me to the Hampshire Cheese Company. I have never looked back!
Q. When did you start working with cheese?
My adventure with the Hampshire Cheese Company started in April 2017. I have learnt everything I know about cheese with the guidance of Stacey and Charlotte, who have taught me so much. They shared their passion for cheese and its production.
Q. What’s your role at Hampshire Cheese Company?
My role is to manage all the dispatch and stock rotation alongside being a cheesemaker. I am very proud of my job and being part of the Hampshire Cheese Company.
Q. What have you and your team achieved so far?
We are certainly a small but strong team. We have won gold medals in both international and British cheese awards for best soft cheese. Our most recent achievement was winning the 2022 artisan cheese award. It is really great to make cheese that is recognised internationally. I hope that in the near future we will be able to introduce a new hard cheese that we have quietly been working on!
Q. Tell us a little about working with Stacey!
I really enjoy working with Stacey. Her office doors are always open and she’s always happy to listen to our ideas or our problems – no matter how big or small. Stacey is very passionate about cheese making and all that is involved. I can’t believe she started the company in her kitchen! She is always happy to lend a hand when it comes to sharing her expertise with us and it is always done with a smile.
Q. Tell us about the team and the atmosphere.
The atmosphere in our company is very familiar. We know each other very well and center around teamwork. There is no “me” or “you, but “we” – the team. We value each other and work hard together to achieve the standard we are at. We are all very proud of the company and our cheeses, which are all made by hand!
Q. What words would you use to describe yourself?
I consider myself a resourceful, loyal and reliable person.
Q. What words would others use to describe you?
Probably a bit of a troublemaker!! I always like to make jokes to keep the spirits up at work. But equally, I am hardworking, flexible and practical to work alongside.
Q. How would you like to be perceived by others?
I hope my team perceives me as hardworking and reliable, I hope they know they can always count on me. I always give 110% at work and I’m confident that as a team we can achieve a lot more together in the future!
Q. What are you passionate about?
My family is my primary passion. I have four children and I love spending time with them. I love horses and have worked with them since I was a young boy. I also love every aspect of my job, it fills me with pride. I’m really grateful to be part of the team, it’s like my second family.
Q. What talents and skills do you have?
I like to think I am good at D.I.Y given I am a qualified car mechanic! I am always improving things at home, such as fixing and restoring cars, and recently woodwork. I also love to make people laugh and smile.
Q. What do you personally bring to Hampshire Cheese Company?
I am always hardworking and willing to help my colleagues.
Q. What life lessons/life experiences would you share that can let people know more about you?
As a young boy, I was about nine at the time, I spent a lot of time in my neighbour’s blacksmith workshop, I would go every day for roughly ten years. He taught me many skills and gave me plenty of advice that I intend to pass on to my children. The key thing I learnt is that you can achieve anything you set your mind to when you work hard.