24 May 2018, 01:58 AM
  • We take an exclusive look at Selfridges’ renowned cheese counter, and discover tips and tricks to help boost your sales
Behind The Counter: Selfridges

What makes Selfridges’ cheese counter stand out?

• A commitment to quality and the ethics of cheese production

• A commitment to raw milk cheeses - currently 60% of the range is produced using unpasteurised milk

• A commitment to up and coming British producers

• A large variety of truffle cheeses

• A willingness to push the boundaries in regards to innovation e.g. goat’s cheese covered with chocolate, goat’s cheese with saffron etc

• The time, effort and resource that is put into ensuring its cheesemongers are knowledgeable and passionate about their counter and the products within it

• The relationships the team has with key people within the cheese industry - including producers, suppliers, affineurs, and PRs among others

What accompaniments do you stock?

● Various condiments
● Fruit crisps
● Dried fruit cakes
● Knives
● Boards and slates
● Graters
● Cheese making Kits
● Biscuits & Crackers (in the Grocery Department)

All products are either on the counter tops, or displayed on a table in front of the counter, with the exception of the biscuits and crackers which are on a grocery fixture adjacent to the counter

What are your top tips for running a fantastic cheese counter?

● Cheesemongers should have good knowledge on the flavour profiles of the cheeses in their counter as a minimum. Technical knowledge is also important, but most customer requests are based on flavours and textures, e.g. ‘I need a mild goat’s milk cheese’, or ‘I’d like a creamy blue’

● Cheesemongers should always express how important it is to ensure cheeses are at room temperature when serving

● Cheesemongers should be tasting cheeses as much as possible, as the profile can change with time

● Cheesemongers should always have a cheese available to sample to customers, especially if it’s tasting superb

● Different cheeses require different storage temperatures, and cheesemongers should be able to advise on the best temperatures for each category

● Storage-wise, wax paper is ideal; cling film can cause some cheeses to sweat so we advise to only cover the cut sides and let the rind breathe; foil can be good for soft blues

● We prefer to display by type rather than country, this helps if a customer just wants a specific type

● Faster selling lines should always have some pre-cut and pre-priced pieces, this can help when there are large queues forming

● Have your accompaniments and condiments as close to the counter as possible for easier upselling

● We use promotions as a tool to highlight new or seasonal products, and only activate offers if we can link with something other than cheese – for example, selling 300g of Parmesan plus a grater for £x