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For a retailer reported to have a spontaneous, rather large, purchase of Le Gruyère AOP as the reason for launch, London Cheesemongers has utilised solid business nous to form an endeavour which has become a must-stop resource for its local community – especially since the announcement of a UK-wide lockdown in early 2020.
Indeed, the business has gone from strength to strength since setting up at London Markets in 2014. With the passion of owner Jared Wybrow translating into strong sales and a loyal customer base, its foundations were tested during 2020 but shown to be iron-clad thanks to an invaluable combination of responsive management and an adaptive approach.
“The story goes, I loved the Gruyère from Fort de la Tine so much that I went out and bought 200kg of it – this maxed out my credit card but started me trading from various food markets in London,” says Jared. “Every penny I earnt went back into the business to buy a larger range of cheeses and attend multiple markets at the same time. After almost two years and a lot of hard work I had enough to take advantage of an opportunity for my first shop in Chelsea.” Four years later, this smart and responsive approach has demonstrated its true mettle by proving to be a pillar of the cheese-loving community in its local area of Chelsea.
Its ability to offer a moveable feast – providing customers with what they want and need, when they want and need it – has proven to be a valuable asset to London Cheesemongers, as well as to the local area it serves. “We want to be reliable at all times, including during a pandemic,” Jared explains. “Consistency is key!” As well as continuing to supply shoppers with top quality cheeses, the business diversified to become an even more valuable local asset. “We are grateful to be able to continue providing our service to our customers by adapting hours, delivery options and adding some good non-cheese necessities such as fresh bread. We support our community this way and they are very appreciative.”
Adapting business to suit the ever-changing climate has been witnessed across all sectors – before Covid, and after too, no doubt – but London Cheesemongers have undoubtedly done it with aplomb.
Opening seven days a week has proven popular with customers, as has the utilisation of same-day delivery within local parameters. Loaves from Little Bread Pedlar are delivered to the Chelsea shop daily, and pairing suggestions for drinks to enjoy alongside the retailer’s cheese are shared on social media channels as well as in-store. London Cheesemakers’ early adoption of an approach which makes it at once a solid, dependable, and yet ever-evolving proposition for consumers, offers a taste of fine cheese retail to come.