Hampshire Cheese Company continues to produce award winning cheeses. Stacey Hedges, Founder, credits its success to her expert team. Today, we meet Connie.
Q. Where did your passion for cheese stem from?
I was brought up in Basingstoke, where I also live today, just a few miles away from our dairy. After leaving college I went to Leith’s School of Food and Wine and graduated with a professional qualification from their industry leading Three-term Diploma in Food and Wine. Since then I have worked both in restaurants and as a private chef and, more recently, taken some time out to focus on my role as a mother!
Q. When did you start working with cheese?
I have always been a lover of cheese and obviously as a chef we were always exploring new flavours and products. Working with the team at Hampshire Cheese is my first job ‘at the coal face’ of artisan cheese making.
Q. What’s your role at Hampshire Cheese Company?
My principal roles are to manage social media and develop recipes. With a small, dedicated team, it’s all hands to the deck when needed, so I also help with wrapping cheese in the creamery.
Q. What have you and the team achieved so far?
Since I started here at Hampshire Cheese I have helped improve our social media presence and grow our following. It’s a privilege to work with such wonderful cheeses, getting to know the process of how they are lovingly made and nurtured by the dedicated team that I am proud to be a part of. I look forward to what I hope will be a long career at Hampshire Cheese Company.
Q. A little about working with Stacey.
I love working with Stacey, I haven’t ever felt so appreciated in a job as I do here and it really makes it a lovely place to work. As a mum getting back into the workplace, it is inspiring to work with Stacey and Charlotte, who have children too and balance what can sometimes be a tricky lifestyle.
Q. Tell us about the team and the atmosphere?
The atmosphere is fast paced and the team is extremely hard working!
Q. What words would you use to describe yourself?
Loyal, creative and optimistic.
Q. What words would others use to describe you?
I think the team would describe me as a chatterbox – but organised and reliable!
Q. How would you like to be perceived by others?
I hope they will say loyal, considerate and kind.
Q. What are you passionate about?
I have always had a huge passion for food, cooking it – and more importantly eating it! But, also to encourage others to cook and really enjoy eating as well. Cheese has always been a part of this passion for food but certainly something that has developed since I started learning more about it while working at Hampshire Cheese.
Q. What talents and skills do you have?
I would like to think that I am a talented chef and I love getting creative in the kitchen with new recipes and ideas. I am super organised, especially in the kitchen – an essential skill for any good chef.
Q. What do you personally bring to Hampshire Cheese Company?
I have brought a fresh pair of eyes to Hampshire Cheese, stepping into a creamery for the first time has really allowed me to see, and be able to showcase, the parts of cheesemaking that people find interesting. What has become general everyday tasks to the team here is actually quite fascinating for people that have never seen behind the scenes. I hope to bring more of this to our social media and show off what a great team we have here at Hampshire Cheese.
Q. What life lessons would you share?
Follow your passions in life and make sure you do something that really lights you up.
Q. When not working …. and mothering … how do you love spending your time?
I practise yoga a few times a week and love being out in nature every day. I have two sprocker spaniels who have a lot of energy so I find myself walking round the countryside every morning, rain or shine. I’m also a bit of a bookworm and have my nose in a book as much as possible.