We have been producing raw milk soft cow's cheeses in our small dairy in Brockley, South East London, since 2013. Brockley was the perfect launching pad for our business and we would not be where we are today without the help and support of the local community.
While starting in Brockley was integral to the growth of our business, we are now faced with a dairy that is too small and not suited to the range and style of cheese we wish to make and explore.
A new dairy will enable us to increase both the volume and quality of the cheeses we currently produce as well as expand our range.
Over the past three years we have grown our business to the stage where we now supply two of the UK’s best cheese distributors: Neals Yard Dairy and The Fine Cheese Company. Our cheese can be found at cheese shops, delis and restaurants across the UK.
Initially, we started the company to introduce a Persian Fetta-style cheese into the British market. Over time our range has has grown and currently includes the following cheeses:
- Graceburn - A marinated soft cow’s cheese based on a Persian Fetta recipe that Dave learnt in Australia.
- Bronze medal winner at the British Cheese Awards.
- Edmund Tew *- A lactic cow's cheese with a geotrichum rind. This cheese is available in two formats: small ‘buttons’ and a larger washed rind version we have developed with Neals Yard Dairy.
- Gold Medal Winner at the British Cheese Awards.
- William Heaps* - A fresh lactic cow's cheese.
- Fresh Cows Curd
- Fresh Whey
*Edmund Tew and William Heaps are part of our Convict series: cheeses named after convicts who were transported to the Australian penal colonies for stealing cheese. Blackwoods founders Dave, Rory and Cammy are all Australian. The chance for three Australians to make cheeses in the UK - cheeses that would be illegal to produce in Australia due to raw milk regulations - and name their cheeses after British people who were sent to Australia for stealing cheese, was too good to pass up.
During its 30 year history, cheesemakers such as Neal’s Yard Creamery, KappaCasein and Gringa Dairy have used the milk from Bore Place to make cheese. However cheese has never actually been made on the farm.
We will be the first farmhouse cheesemakers at Bore Place.
The New Space
The building we will be moving into has a long history. Made out of red bricks produced onsite at the old brickworks, the building has a varied history and has been used for everything from wood carving to its last incarnation as a milk processing room for Ahimsla* cows milk.
*Ahimsa Milk is the only commercially produced milk that guarantees no cow, calf or bull is ever slaughtered as part of its production.
As it stands ,the building is very well suited to cheese making but it does need some work to bring it up to a hygienic standard and to tailor it specifically for our needs.
This move will give us:
- A larger make room.
- Separate make and packing rooms.
- Our own dedicated maturation room.
- Our own dedicated drying room.
- Better access to our milk.
- The opportunity to build on our relationship with the farm, farmers, cows etc…
- The opportunity to PRODUCE MORE DELICIOUS CHEESE.
Where the money will go:
- The Floor- We will be resealing the floor with 6mm polyurethane. This year, we received the Dougal Campbell Bursary from The Specialist Cheesemakers Association, which we will put towards this.
- The Walls - We will be cladding all the existing walls with hygiene-cladding as well as dividing the main space into a make room and a packing room.
- The Cold Room - The refrigeration in the current cold room is not suited to our needs. We plan on dividing it in two and installing two new refrigeration units. This will enable us to both mature and store our cheeses.We also aim to build a drying room to aid in the maturation of our cheese.
- New Equipment
- Drying Fan: 4 independent ventilators, assembled on a stainless-steel frame. An essential maturation tool.
- New vats to accommodate an increase in production.
- Extra cheese racks and bases.
- Equipment to mechanise and streamline our current packing system.
- Extra cleaning equipment.
- SALSA Accreditiation.“SALSA is a food-safety standard written by experienced food safety experts to reflect both the legal requirements of producers and the enhanced expectations of 'best practice' of professional food buyers. “