Inspirational Cheese Retailers 2024: Birkdale Cheese

15 April 2024, 07:00 AM
  • Inspirational Cheese Retailers is back for 2024 - celebrating some of Britain's finest cheese retailing specialists. Including Birkdale Cheese - The Revampers
Inspirational Cheese Retailers 2024: Birkdale Cheese

For John Clarke and Mark Moss, who took on the running of Birkdale Cheese – a business which had been servicing local cheese lovers for decades – it was important to offer customers a wider variety of options than that they previously enjoyed. “Birkdale village has had a speciality cheesemonger for 45 years and has always focused on offering a wide range of the very best British and Continental cheeses available, begins Mark. “We took over the business in May 2021 with the aim of not only continuing to provide high quality cheese, but to expand the shop’s offering of exciting deli products – including pate, rillettes, charcuterie and fine wines.” 

This decision wasn’t made lightly. “Each new range introduced to the shop has to have the approval of the full team,” he says. “We have all tasted everything before it makes it to the shelves.” Customers can enjoy these products on-site as well as at home. “We are lucky enough to have some alfresco seating where we offer an extensive range of dishes, all based around cheese, from cheeseboards to grazing platters and all in between.” 

It is this wide variety of products which sets Birkdale Cheese apart from other businesses. “With over 150 cheeses there really is something for every palate. Plus, we are totally focused on the customer experience – so many people are intrigued by cheese but are frightened to brand out and try something new,” he begins. “Customers are free to try any cheese from the counter, and the ‘try before you buy’ concept builds trust and allows us to build relationships with our customers.” The team is passionate about constantly evolving its selection. “We are continually revising our selection as it’s vital we keep things fresh and exciting. New cheeses and products are a thrill not only for us, but for our customers too; we aim to make the experience of coming to Birkdale Cheese Co an interesting and exciting one, rather than simply a mundane trip to the shops.”

Another stand-out move has been the creation of four cheeses made locally that carry the business’s name: Birkdale Cheddar; Birkdale Cheddar Smoked; Birkdale Cheddar infused with Chilli & Lime; and Birkdale Blue, a rich cave-aged blue. 

Birkdale Cheese’s eclectic range attracts a wide range of shoppers. “Our customer base is very varied,” says Mark. “When we took over the shop the majority of customers were regulars who have remained loyal for a number of years, with many recounting stories of how they first came to the shop as children. We wanted to breathe new life into the shop and attract new customers, especially the younger generation.” Understandably, social media played an important role in achieving this goal. “We actively embraced social media, which has become such a strong tool for us to reach out to a wider audience.” 

Revitalising an established shop

Taking on a business which already boasts an established reputation and regular customer base isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s a challenge that Mark and John completed with aplomb. “One of our biggest successes is the re-brand of the business in the year we took over,” Mark begins. “The shop had been known as Birkdale Cheese Centre since its establishment and carried a rather outdated logo. We wanted to bring the shop up to date and refresh what was already a successful business. A simple tweak of the name meant we maintained the business’s integrity and gave it a new lease of life, a new floor and lighting finished everything off. The re-brand also included a re-design of our website, which has seen a significant increase on our online marketplace.”

To read about all of our Inspirational Cheese Retailers, download the supplement.

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