30 March 2021, 09:04 AM
  • Speciality Food speaks to the independent cheesemonger that saved a local cheese from ‘extinction’ amid the Covid-19 pandemic for Inspirational Cheese Retailers
Cryer & Stott: the cheese saviour

This article originally appeared in Inspirational Cheese Retailers, available to download free here.

In the midst of a challenging year for the fine cheese industry, West Yorkshire-based cheesemonger Cryer & Stott succeeded in an impressive feat: they saved a cheese from ‘extinction’.

Coverdale, a cheese first produced in the North Yorkshire village of Coverham in 1912, has experienced ups and downs over the decades; its creator Coverdale Dairy was closed down by the Milk Marketing Board in 1987, the cheese was then propped up with the passion of seven of the dairy’s staff, before being purchased by Wensleydale in 2000.

The line was discontinued in early 2020, but consumer demand for the unique cheese saw Cryer & Stott work with a local, small artisan dairy to recreate it. “We could not let this amazing cheese steeping in over 100 years of history disappear,” says Cryer & Stott’s Jemma Ladwitch, business development manager.

“We had to do something about it. We saw it as an opportunity to help support a producer in the Dales, and after extensive research chose a fairly new artisan dairy based in the heart of the Dales with their own herd of cows.”

Cryer & Stott’s decision to partner with a locally based dairy – Home Farmer – fits perfectly with their ‘Yorkshire and proud’ ethos.

“A Yorkshire company through and through, Cryer & Stott are a fierce champion of the ‘small producer’ and all things ‘Yorkshire’,” explains Jemma. “They were the perfect choice to make the newly revived authentic Coverdale for us, and we are proud to be investing in keeping hand skills alive in Yorkshire.”

Today’s revitalised Coverdale is an unpasteurised six week-old crumbly cheese, clothbound with an aesthetically pleasing natural rind. Its spongy texture and subtle tang have proven to be instantly popular with Cryer & Stott’s audience – indeed, its launch event at Welcome to Yorkshire Ian Woosnam Senior Classic Golf Tournament in nearby Ilkley in September saw it receive rave reviews from famous faces including footballer Robbie Fowler and cricketer Ryan Sidebottom.

Made in small batches of 20 cheeses every two weeks, its waiting list – covering online, retail and foodservice customers – is proof of its successful reimagining.

“In 2021 we are hoping to increase production to meet demand,” Jemma states. Cheese lovers across social media have also welcomed the cheese with open arms – demand was so high over the Christmas season that double batches were required. At once keeping their home county’s traditions alive and successfully reimagining a much-loved cheese; long may Cryer & Stott’s successful endeavours continue.

Cryer & Stott’s 3 best-selling cheeses
• Ewe Beauty - A sheep’s milk Pecorino-style cheese
• Flatcapper Brie - A rich and creamy northern Brie
• Duke of Wellington Blue - A cheese we created for Her Majesty the Queen in 2014, that has won multiple prestigious awards.