Residential Cheese-Making Courses
Posted 16/01/2018 : By: Alice Goodrich
Fielding Cottage Residential Cheese-making Courses
In November 2016, Fielding Cottage was approved for LEADER funding to build an accommodation block to run week-long residential cheese-making courses. The grant also funded a shower unit for the customers using the on-site caravan site.
Established in 2010, Fielding Cottage is an artisan producer of goat's cheese, meat, and skincare products containing goat’s milk. The cheese is sold regionally and nationally through a wholesaler.
Since establishment, the business has grown and learned a lot about cheese production. Sam Steggles and current cheese-maker, Emma Tabrett, are well aware of what people need to know to start making cheese commercially, of the importance of hands-on training in giving beginners confidence with the processes, and the issues involved in establishing and running a cheese-making business. There is a need to have marketing and financial acumen besides replicable technical skills.
Funding has been granted to develop and run residential cheese-making courses at their base in Honingham. Interest in cheese making courses has been coming from across the UK, from both hobbyists and commercial farmers anxious to add value to their produce. The plan is to run bespoke, intensive courses to train people in the whole process, including the business aspects such as marketing. Attendees will gain a Food Safety and Manufacturing Certificate as part of the course.
Course numbers will be limited to six to give personal attention and opportunities for plenty of hands-on experience and dialogue. The belief is that the benefits from a residential course are in the opportunities they provide for in-depth discussions and ideas-sharing, as well as full practical participation in all the processes; there is also a necessity for early starts to the training sessions. The grant will support a residential block so course applicants can attend the week-long courses.
"I am indebted to the team at LEADER, without the enthusiasm, dedication, patience and support of the team, I would not have succeeded in getting my latest project off the ground. LEADER funding has been key to the success of my residential accommodation units for my cheese making courses and holiday accommodation. Having completed building works mid-Summer we have some last minute bookings with huge success. The guests have all enjoyed everything we have to offer and some have even re-booked to come back. We hope to be up and running cheese making courses early next year." - Sam Steggles, Fielding Cottage