Neal's Yard Dairy select, mature and sell farmhouse cheese from the UK and Ireland. They work with about 40 cheesemakers. They visit them regularly to taste their cheese with them and select the batches they want to mature and sell.
Amongst the cheeses they select there is a great deal of variability. Cheese can change hugely, depending on how it is treated. They have a range of temperature and humidity-controlled maturation facilities at their warehouse in London, run by a team who are dedicated to ensuring that they sell their cheese at its best. As the cheese is maturing they continue to taste through the stock to ensure they are aware of how it is developing over time.
When the cheese is ready their attention turns to directing the right cheese into the hands of the right customer. Flavour drives how they sell cheese. They have learnt that different palates and markets have different tastes.
The essence of what they do has changed very little since their founding director Randolph Hodgson began seeking out farmhouse cheesemakers to supply their first shop in the early 1980’s. They believe that the time and energy they invest in understanding cheesemaking, selection and maturation give them the necessary experience to source much of the best cheese available in the UK and Ireland.