Inspirational Cheese Retailers 2024: Grate Newcastle

17 April 2024, 07:00 AM
  • Inspirational Cheese Retailers is back for 2024 - celebrating some of Britain's finest cheese retailing specialists. Including Grate - Community Support champion
Inspirational Cheese Retailers 2024: Grate Newcastle

For Moz Murphy, founder of Grate Newcastle, the inspiration for opening the shop was to plug a gap she saw in the city; to provide great service alongside excellent cheese from Britain and Europe. “I opened the cheese shop that I wanted as a customer as I felt Newcastle was missing out,” she begins. 

Far from being a deli with a complementary cheese counter, grate is “first and foremost a cheesemonger,” says Moz. “We champion British and Irish cheese first, with some continental cheeses thrown in for good measure.” While the shop also sells locally made chutneys and pickles, crackers and oatcakes, and bread from local bakers at weekends, cheese has long been and will continue to be Moz’s focus. 

“Lots of people have suggested diversifying into more of a deli, selling charcuterie and oils etc; we have dabbled in some charcuterie from time to time but ultimately my background is in cheese and that’s my passion.”

This passionate focus has seen Grate grow a sizeable fanbase of all ages and persuasions, as Moz explains. “My customer base is really family orientated – we have so many regulars who come in week on week with their parents or children. We get lots of foodies, and plenty of local chefs and restaurant people too.”

A challenge shared…

From the position Grate holds in the community today you wouldn’t know that it had a less-than-ideal start, but Moz and her team have demonstrated that timing is everything. “We opened in October 2020, right in between lockdowns. I’d planned to open May Bank Holiday that year, but the pandemic got in the way,” she says. “Obviously the pandemic was incredibly tough, but I opened at the exact right time, when people were allowed to go shopping and didn’t have much else to do!”

Since the threat of Covid lockdowns has faded, other challenges have taken its place. “The increase in energy costs in a constant worry,” Moz says, “and it’s tough balancing everything with the cost-of-living crisis.”

The Grate team recognise that financial challenges are a universal issue in 2024, and have made great strides in the community to support those suffering. “When the Government decided to withdraw funding for school lunches during school holidays, we partnered with a local restaurant to feed kids,” says Moz. “They made pies (so many pies!) and we distributed them. We’ve also raised money for lots of local charities, most notably Maggie’s Centre at the Freeman Hospital, and the Rainbow Trust.” 

As well as supporting her wider community, Moz is particularly proud of the network she and her team have built and maintained closer to home. “We’ve built a great little community feel in our shop and it’s lovely to be a part of,” she says. “The very fact that we are still open is definitely something I’m proud of, too!”

Read about all of the Inspirational Cheese Retailers by downloading the supplement.


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