Calling all cheese lovers -find out more about how Lyons is supporting local with this ‘grate’ venture for owners this season!
You might have heard about our Discount Location Guide. This wonderful community incentive project provides owners with discounts at local businesses throughout the year. And aren’t there some treats in store for our wonderful customers this year! On National Cheese Day, we thought we’d hone in on The Little Cheesemonger. This quirky Prestatyn and Rhuddlan-based business have gone from strength to strength – read on to find out more!
What’s the Little Cheesemonger all about?
What type of cheese do they specialise in?
How has the business been during the pandemic?
“The secret ingredient is always cheese,” said Gemma, who not only survived the pandemic but also did the miraculous thing of launching a new franchise smack bang in the middle of lockdown. She said: “With opening the second shop in the pandemic, there was always a risk. It wasn’t easy as the new shop and new staff didn’t get any funding from the government, and we couldn’t furlough the staff. We just had to push ahead and be very careful. There were temporary sacrifices like the maturing room had to be shut down, but it’s still there waiting to come back to life. It’s hibernating!”
With the evident success of the Little Cheesemonger in Rhuddlan, Gemma had plans to branch out to Prestatyn High Street for months. Even the pandemic, which affected small local businesses deeply, wouldn’t keep this cheese lover from reaching her dreams! In December 2020, Gemma and the team opened the Prestatyn-based shop – just in time for the festive push. She said: “We had to be open for Christmas as we knew there would be no sales in January. We got the keys in mid-October and got everything turned around as fast as we could!”
Why did they decide to branch out to Rhuddlan?
Gemma said: “The Little Cheesemonger was so small in Rhuddlan and it was great for starting up. At the time, we were the only one in the area and there was no sort of cheese places around until you got to Chester or further afield. It was great for the first year or so, but then we soon realised in the second year that it was too small.
“It was just so busy! Prestatyn was a way for us to keep Rhuddlan going as there’s a fantastic loyal customer base there. But Prestatyn gives us the opportunity to do in-house tasting, maturing, store more items, easier to dispatch orders, make our sharing platters. It’s becoming so popular, and we don’t have space in Rhuddlan to do what we want to do. Especially at Christmas when we get so busy with hampers! Prestatyn is a great venture with more things to do.”
What’s the UK cheese industry like at the moment?
What’s your favourite cheese?
“Gorgonzola! I have Italian genetics/ heritage so it means a lot. It’s always been my favourite and locally produced gorgonzola is nothing like the one you can buy in the supermarket.” Gemma and her wine-wingman Chris attended the first owners’ event of 2021 at Lyons Robin Hood earlier last month, bringing smiles in the form of samples and sips to many happy attendees. More events of this nature are on the cards this year, so keep an eye out on your emails for more info!
Visit The Little Cheesemonger to find out more about Gemma’s amazing range of cheeses, gins, wines, preserves and snacks!