Purveyors of Fine Artisan and Farmhouse Cheese
Stacey Hedges is passionate about artisan cheese suppliers. Cheese lovers and restaurateurs around the world like to buy from experts who really know and understand their cheeses, can advise on storing and cooking and deliver the cheese at the perfect ripeness to eat.
In this series, we’re delighted to introduce Hampshire Cheese Company’s suppliers. Today we take a look behind the scenes of Mellis Cheese, purveyors of fine artisan and farmhouse cheese.
Mellis Cheese, a family business, opened its doors on Edinburgh’s Victoria Street in May 1993. Founder, Iain Mellis learned his trade by working as a cheesemaker for over 15 years in the British cheese industry. Alongside his wife, Karen, Iain wanted a traditional, old fashioned sense of service and style whilst using modern technology to maintain and enhance the unique characteristics of artisan cheese. Iain focussed on building relationships with small scale cheese makers, creating a bridge between maker and consumer.
One of the most important aspects of Iain’s thinking was flavour. Farmhouse cheese differs from mass-produced factory cheese because the milk comes from a single herd rather than several different sources. By working closely with small scale cheese makers Iain was able to mature and release cheese when they became ready. This practice is still carried out today from the Mellis Maturing Rooms locating in Leith, Edinburgh.
With her nursing background, Karen defines the ethos of the business, ensuring that every customer receives genuine and warm over the counter service. “Without which, the business would not be what it is today,” says son Rory Mellis.
In 2018 Rory joined the family business to strengthen relationships with trade customers and develop the wholesale side of the business. After studying in Spain for a number of years Rory, together with his dad Iain, decided to open The Cheese Lounge. Located through the back of their Morningside store, customers can enjoy a plate of cheese and a glass of wine. “The ability to discover new cheeses – such as Tunworth – and enjoy a glass of good wine with friends was the inspiration behind The Cheese Lounge. That philosophy has not changed to this day,” says Rory.
Mellis Cheese has 5 locations across Scotland within Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews. You can find Tunworth within any of their stores or online at mellischeese.net