Inspirational Cheese Retailers 2024: Rennet & Rind

24 April 2024, 09:00 AM
  • Inspirational Cheese Retailers is back for 2024 - celebrating some of Britain's finest cheese retailing specialists. Including Rennet & Rind - Expert Affineurs
Inspirational Cheese Retailers 2024: Rennet & Rind

There aren’t many businesses that can claim to be award-winning from when they very first opened their doors, but Stamford’s Rennet & Rind is one such business. CEO and affineur, Perry Wakeman, was named the inaugural Affineur of the Year in 2022, and his “journey in cheese maturation” has led to the shop being a beacon for British artisan cheese.

“Our distinctiveness lies in our unwavering commitment to British artisan cheese,” explains Perry. “We don’t just sell cheese; we mature it, enhancing the unique flavours and honouring the traditions and innovations of British cheesemakers.” The Stamford shop showcases a handpicked selection of British cheeses expertly matured in Rennet & Rind’s Cambridge-based maturing rooms. Indeed, as Perry explains, “Our specialisation in affinage sets us apart in the cheese community.”

It‘s not only in the field of affinage that Rennet & Rind stands apart from the crowd. Education is also key to the team’s approach, with staff investing time in each customer to ensure that they come away with not only a top-notch experience, but knowledge too. “We surprise our new customers with our generous tastings, embodying our belief that everyone should have the opportunity to explore and learn about British artisan cheese,” says Perry. “Our approach isn’t just about selling cheese; it’s about educating and sharing our passion. Each customer receives a one-to-one tasting experience, where a dedicated Rennet & Rind cheesemonger guides them through our selection, tailoring suggestions based on their preferences and building a profile of cheeses that suit their palate.”

This time-consuming approach doesn’t always reap instant financial rewards, but Perry’s mission to champion the British cheese industry is unwaveringly supported – “this personal and educational approach ensures that even if customers don’t leave with cheese, they have a deeper appreciation of the importance of supporting the British artisan cheese industry,” he says. 

A change of approach

While Rennet & Rind’s passionate education of its cheese-loving customers is proving popular, that wasn’t the original plan for the business. “Previously, we focused on supplying bespoke matured cheese to Michelin-starred restaurants and fine dining establishments,” explains Perry. “However, with these outlets closed due to the pandemic and a surplus of bespoke cheese on our hands, we questioned whether the public might be interested in our hyper-focused matured cheeses.” This change of direction led to the creation of Rennet & Rind’s flagship product – the Mystery Cheese Box – which changed weekly for over a year to support British cheesemakers during tough times. “The response was overwhelming,” says Perry, “and this initiative snowballed. Within seven days, we built a logo and a website, and here we are today with a physical shop.”

Rennet & Rind has certainly seen its fair share of plaudits, but two moments particularly stand out to Perry. “My proudest achievements include retaining the Affineur of the Year title” – awarded again in 2023 – “and launching our physical store. These accomplishments stem from relentless dedication to quality, a deep understanding of cheese maturation, and robust community support.”

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


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