Inspirational Cheese Retailers 2024: The Little Cheese Shop

01 May 2024, 13:40 PM
  • Inspirational Cheese Retailers is back for 2024 - celebrating some of Britain's finest cheese retailing specialists. Including The Little Cheese Shop - Pride of Ireland
Inspirational Cheese Retailers 2024: The Little Cheese Shop

When Mark Murphy took on The Little Cheese Shop in Dingle, Ireland, he was well equipped to know what he was in for. Having run the town’s Cookery School as a qualified chef, he knew the foodie credentials that the town had to offer – as well as the loyal locals and booming tourist trade he would be catering for. During the tourist season, people travel from all over the world to visit the stunning Dingle Peninsula and sample the best food and drink Ireland has to offer.

“Irish food has made great strides in the past few years,” Mark begins. “Our geography, climate and rich pastures here in Ireland are unique, and this allows our cheesemakers and dairy farmers to produce some of the best dairy products in the world.” Understandably, this shaped The Little Cheese Shop’s offering. “For this reason, I decided that when I took over the shop I would try to focus on having as much Irish cheese on the counter as possible. I am proud to now say that about 98% of all cheese in the shop is made on the island of Ireland.” 

Mark sources his cheeses from every corner of Ireland and ensures a wide range at all times. By maintaining strong relationships with the cheesemakers he works with, he has access to some rare batches of cheese. “This can suit a small shop like mine as our selection can and will change on a weekly basis. It also allows us to work with the cheesemakers and source their best products, and know as much as possible about them and what makes their cheese so special.” 

Spreading the love

As well as having a small shop in Dingle – frequented by local residents, business owners and tourists – Mark is able to send cheese throughout Ireland via his website. “This has proved to be a good extra revenue stream,” he explains. “I am fortunate to have built up an online customer base consisting of regulars and new customers, but unfortunately it is only on the island of Ireland due to logistics and customs.” He has also launched an online monthly cheese subscription, where members receive a box of four cheeses, crackers and a chutney, plus notes about the cheeses and their makers on the last week of every month. 

While every customer shopping with The Little Cheese shop is keen to learn about and enjoy great Irish cheese, that’s not to say that a one-size-fits-all approach is suitable. “Each of the above customer bases are different and we try our best to understand them to make sure we best suit their needs. For example, a local looking for cheese for a cheeseboard to share with their friends may get different cheese compared to an international visitor who is travelling and staying in a hotel or guest house and wants a small selection to travel with.” 

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

Image: Credit Fiona Morgan

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