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Family Business: Mellis Cheesemongers

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Having being brought up in Edinburgh, Scotland, one of the most instilled memories is visiting Mellis cheese shops at a young age. 

 

What were you doing prior to opening cheese shops? 

 I worked for the North of Scotland Milk Marketing board as a laboratory technician and then moved on to be a cheesemaker in Orkney.

After the time in Orkney, I moved to Cheshire and worked as a head cheesemaker for 7 years before returning to Scotland ( Edinburgh ) to open my first cheese shop in Victoria Street in 1993.

 

I am curious, considering you have so many fantastic cheeses in store, how much traveling is involved?

In the beginning, a lot of travelling was in the uk  and Ireland was involved.

Thereafter further afield travelling to France, Italy and Spain.

"As the family grew, this became a little less, however, a lot of the children's holidays were centred around visiting Cheesemakers or charcuterie curers."

As the family grew, this became a little less, however, a lot of the children's holidays were centred around visiting Cheesemakers or charcuterie curers.

 

Given you started in 1993, how do you think you've managed in regards to internet/social media particularly? (your Instagram feed is one of my favourites!) 

I'm afraid I never used a computer before opening the business.

I bought my first Apple Mackintosh computer the year I opened the shop, but didn't know how to use it!!

Luckily my children have helped a lot with social benefits with my eldest son doing most of it, although, being a visual person myself, I must say I use Instagram a lot for inspiration.

Have you, or would you ever make your own cheese?
 

Yes. As I said before,I made cheese for around 10 years.

If I was being honest, I wasn't the greatest of Cheesemakers as I was easily distracted.

It takes a steady personality to be a good cheesemaker.

I still although enjoy talking about all aspects of cheese making with the Cheesemakers.

 

 What are your plans for the future? more wine & cheese nights?

Me and my two boys are currently getting into our natural wines and beers.

My eldest is currently studying in Madrid for 1 year, so cheese, wine and " small plate " dining is a family favourite.

I probably see future plans down the line of importing wines as well as our cheeses.

cheesemonger mellischeese mellis Edinburgh scotland interview family business

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