Isle of Wight Cheese Company
We first started making cheese on the current Queen Bower Dairy site in October 2006. We had recognised that there wasn't any cheese being made locally on the Island and after a few phonecalls to a few delis and farmshops here, we realised that were we able to make some, then these places would most certainly buy it. So with no cheesemaking or dairy experience at all, we decided to set up the Isle of Wight Cheese Company, and headed off to Agricultural College in Cheshire, to learn how to make cheese.
We identified Queen Bower Dairy near Alverstone, as a great place to do it. First of all, the dairy farm had its own herd of Guernsey cows grazing right next to it and also, the farmer here, after he had finished his local milk round, had a large amount of surplus milk. Why give it to the collecting tanker we asked, when we can make cheese with it?!
So two vacant barns on the farm were converted in to a brand new cheesemaking facility and we set about making a variety of cheeses that we could give to the Island. Isle of Wight Blue and Isle of Wight Soft were our first two cheeses that made it to the market for Christmas 2006