We are open 10am - 5pm every day from May till September, out of season we close on Mondays
After making cheese and working around the cheese business for nearly 10 years I've met a few cheesemakers, visited a good few cheese shops and eaten a fair amount of cheese. What always surprised me was the lack of truly focused cheese shops in the North West. Retailers choose the cheeses they sell based on a broad range of criteria, but for me when cheeses are selected primarily because of price, their local credentials or just how well known the brand is, the actual taste of the cheese is often overlooked. But if retailers overlook the taste of the cheeses they sell, what exactly are they selling?
Ian (my father in law to be) and I opened the shop on the 5th of June 2010 with a range of around 35 cheeses sourced from cheesemakers that we felt were looking to acheive something more than standard, consistent cheese, these are cheesemakers who want to see their cheeses rubbing shoulders with the best cheeses in the world. We have enourmous respect for the cheesemakers we buy from and this drives us to maintain and sell their cheeses in their best possible condition. The best cheese, badly kept and badly sold has nothing new to offer you, our customer and does nothing to help the cheesemakers we buy from.
Since opening a year ago our range has grown to around 50 cheeses, with some cheeses coming in or going out of season each month being replaced by new or alternative cheeses. We see our shop counter as a snapshot of what's really great in the world of cheese at any given time and of course with that view our cheeses, the way they taste and what we sell is always evolving and ever changing.
We regularly taste all the cheeses we sell, we also 'taste out' cheeses to lots of customers every day and always invite feed back (good or bad) which helps us to calibrate our own tastes, opinions and views against those of our customers, this is important, after all cheese IS subjective and we don't all like the same thing. We feel it's our job at Cartmel Cheeses to try to match the right cheese to the right customers and to help the cheesemakers we buy from realise their potential and fulfil the expectations of the people who eat their cheese.
We will always encourage customers to taste before they buy, we will always be helpful and patient and we will never assume that you don't know your own taste buds!