As Lockdown lifts and London springs back to life, we’re reflecting on how Courage Yard has coped with a year of coronavirus.
Our weekly Provisions pop ups have been a great way to ensure that you can shop small, local, and independent, even through periods of Lockdown.
We spoke to Marianne at Heritage Cheese, a stall who have popped up at Courage Yard almost every week through the pandemic to provide you with the best artisan cheeses Bermondsey has to offer.
Firstly, we would love to hear bit about how Heritage Cheese started up?
We started in Borough Market in 2017. Our aim is not just to source the best British and Irish cheeses but to share the amazing stories behind them. We know all our cheesemakers and we work with them. Cheese is an amazing thing and they all have a unique story of how, where, when and by whom they are made and we are really lucky to be able to share that with our customers.
How have you found operating your stall during the pandemic?
It has been a challenge not just for us and our cheesemakers but for our fellow traders. Adapting to lockdown required a lot of creative thinking but having good working relationships with all our makers helped massively.
The strangeness of the situation helped foster a strong sense of community with our fellow traders too. The support from the public has been brilliant. It might not seem like a big thing but having customers come to the stall smiling (you can still tell even with the mask) and thanking you for being around is amazing.
While the whole situation has been incredibly difficult for everyone, I think that there has been really wonderful support and recognition from the public for small businesses. We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone for that!
What do you enjoy about having a Provisions pop up stall at Courage Yard?
You can’t really beat the view. Part of the fun of working in markets is being in an amazing location and this has got to be one of the best! Being beside the German Wholegrain Bakers and their amazing cheesecake doesn’t hurt either!
What are some of your best-selling cheeses?
For the British Cheeses: Quicke’s Extra Mature Cheddar. There is a very good reason that it’s a classic and Mary Quicke is the absolute Queen of British cheese! Also Beavale from Cropwell Bishop Creamery – gooey, moreish, savoury – it’s unbelievable. Berkswell Ewe’s Milk, an aged raw milk cheese and one of our newer ones is beautiful. Last but not least, Cornish Gouda.
For Irish Cheeses: Kilmorá Emmenthal from Galway and Cáis Na Tiré Sheeps Milk are both firm favorites. Corleggy Farmhouse Goat is another winner too.
And what are some of your personal favourites?
That’s like being asked to choose your favorite child! It’s probably more a question of what I love most right now because I love all of them.
At the moment I’m really into blue cheeses, particularly Wreking Blue from Moyden’s up in Shropshire. It’s another raw milk cheese and it’s really rich and complex with these amazing almost fudgy edges. Corleggy Smoked Drumlin too; people can be wary of smoked cheeses but I love this, the texture is so velvelty. We just got some of the Corleggy Creeny in again too, it’s very seasonal so it’s only here for a short time and it’s beautiful.
What does the future hold for Heritage Cheese?
We will continue the very hard job of looking for the best cheeses we can find and bringing them to you!