22 Jan 2021
Brooke’s Dairy – Producer of the Month
17 Dec 2020
2020 has been a challenge for all sorts of businesses across the UK and the world – including artisan cheesemakers. We caught up with Hannah from Brooke’s Dairy in the Wye Valley to see how her young cheesemaking business is doing.
Brooke’s Dairy was our very first Producer of the Month back in 2019. You can read our original interview with Hannah to find out more about Angiddy and her farm.
How has Brooke’s Dairy grown since you launched your cheese a few years ago?
When we first started making Angiddy we were renting premises. Now we have a cheese dairy right here on our farm. I used to make the cheese on my own too – while juggling children and another job – but as we’ve grown we’ve been able to take on another cheesemaker, Karen, who joined us last year. She’s amazing. She’s such a foodie and loves using Angiddy in her cooking.
Where’s the coolest place you’ve seen your cheese being used?
It was so exciting when we spotted Angiddy being used on The Great British Bake Off in 2019. We had no idea that contestant Michelle was going to use it in her bake. We were sat watching TV and suddenly heard ‘Angiddy’ mentioned – it was such a shock, but amazing at the same time!
How has coronavirus (COVID-19) impacted you?
Coronavirus has been really tough on our business; it’s been a tricky balance to know how much cheese to make, and with most of our ice cream sold in the summer, it was very sad to have such great weather and not be out there selling it. We’ve had to judge carefully what to make and how much. Luckily it does seem that quite a few people have been treating themselves to cheese during lockdown!
What do you like about producing your cheese in Wales?
We’ve been farming in Wales since the 1970s and it means such a lot to be able to produce cheese made from our own milk. There’s so much time and energy that goes into farming and the Wye Valley has the perfect weather and grass for dairy farming, so we feel really proud to produce a Welsh cheese.
What’s next for Brooke’s Dairy?
During this uncertain time we’ve done some experimenting! We actually already had a recipe for a blue cheese in the works, but we’ve been refining it more during lockdown and plan to launch it next year.
Anything else we should know about you and your cheese?
We’re very lucky to count Kate Humble as friend and neighbour and we were recently featured on her programme, Escape to the Farm. Kate spent the day with us making cheese and meeting our cows – she says Angiddy is her favourite cheese!