International Women’s Day 2021: Allison Raper, Teesdale Cheesemakers
Happy March! This new month brings warmer days, lighter nights, and an empowering event that we are all excited to celebrate here at Love Cheese. The 8th of March commemorates International Women’s Day, and with over half of our staff being female, this event is very close to our hearts. But what is Love Cheese without cheese? Some of the most prestigious cheesemongers are women, and what other way could we celebrate this important event without praising one of the best female suppliers in the cheese game! This year’s IWD theme is #choosetochallenge, and a female ran cheese company in an industry that is dominated by males does exactly that; challenges the stereotype, as well as seeking out and simultaneously celebrating women’s achievements.
Allison Raper is the proud owner of Teesdale Cheesemakers
who are known for their delicious homemade cheeses and their ‘Cheesedale’ café which revolves around cheese and the making that goes on behind the scenes. This husband-and-wife team began in a small utility room and have now transformed their company into a successful business with a café, farm, and their own mini cheese factory.
Teesdale Cheesemakers have 8 beloved soft cheeses in their collection, including the tasty Teesdale Blue, (a mild creamy blue made with cow’s milk), White Hilton (described by Allison as a complex creamy white cheese that changes as you chew it) and Teesdale Goat (a mild mellow goat with their own distinct rind to finish it off). As well as this, they have won 18 awards in their time, including the Gold and Silver World Cheese Award! Its clear to see why this company is praised and loved by all cheese community.
Last year I had the pleasure of visiting the Cheesedale café myself, and what a delight it was!
We were served a delicious breakfast with bacon and eggs from the farm and their famous cheeses to accompany it. Our view was a beautiful landscape where we could see the cows that are used to make the delicious Teesdale cheese’s roaming the acres of land they are home to. It was a delightful way to spend our morning, and whilst speaking to Allison and Jonathon we could see the passion and hard work that had gone into the company.
When speaking to Allison on the topic of IWD she gave us these words of wisdom:
“Our business is very diverse and innovative, it has had to be over the past challenging twelve months! At the core of everything we do is our multi award winning hand-made cheeses, even our pigs are fed on the whey from the cheese making, and I am hugely proud of that achievement.
There is no can’t…only how.”
Allison is the driving force of this company, and acts as an inspiring female role model to all, showing that working hard and persevering leads to success. So, no matter how you choose to spend this special day, make sure you choose to challenge, and choose to commemorate your own and other’s achievements. Praise those important women in your life, as each and every one of them deserves to be celebrated. Together we have the power to change the world!
Happy International Women’s Day!
We are also holding a virtual Women’s choice event on our website to celebrate IWD, where each of our female staff choose their favourite cheese and wine combination for you to try. Keep an eye out for Teesdale Cheesemakers in our future events!
Love Cheese x
Written By Maddie Bricklebank