West Cork cheese makers to be part of new Tesco â

Four West Cork cheese makers; Milleens Cheese based in Eyeries, Gubbeen Farmhouse Products based in Schull, Durrus Farmhouse Cheese based in Coomkeen and Coolea Farmhouse Cheese named after their local village of Cúil Aodha are are to have their cheeses stocked in Tesco stores nationwide as part of the launch of the retailer’s new ‘Cheeses of Ireland’ range.

The Tesco ‘Cheeses of Ireland’ launch sees 28 Irish artisan cheeses from 18 Irish cheese makers sold on cheese counters in up to 90 stores nationwide under the Tesco brand. Working with local cheese makers and developed by Tesco Cheese Buyer Barra McFeely, the range includes goat’s cheese, cheddars, brie and blue cheeses.

Commenting on the launch, Barra said *“Our new Cheeses of Ireland range brings together the best of Irish cheese from across the country, giving customers a taste of the highest quality cheeses at affordable prices. My experience as both a cheese maker, developing Dunbarra cheese, and as a cheese buyer with Tesco means that I could choose local cheeses which I know our customers will love such as the Finest mature Coolea and the Smoked Gubbeen.”*

Milleens Cheese was established in 1972 by Veronica and Norman Steele who have now stepped back from day-to-day cheese making and put the reins in the capable hands of their son, Quinlan. Milleens Cheese can boast to the fact that the Queen herself has even sampled their cheese after her famous visit to Cork last year.

Gubbeen Farmhouse products are the most westerly cheese makers in Europe. The business was started in 1970s by Giana and Tom Ferguson and now employs 20 people. Son Fingal runs the Gubbeen charcuterie business with all 3 of Giana’s and Tom’s children involved within the business. Everything is created on the farm ensuring the utmost of quality and care in their products. They have also just launched a new website www.gubbeen.com

Durrus Farmhouse Cheese is run by Jeffa Dill who left a career in fashion in the city to take residence on top of a mountain in Comkeen where the entire cheese making is done. Durrus is handmade from raw Friesian cows’ milk sourced from a single local herd. This hay-coloured cheese has a smooth, creamy texture, a rich earthy, lingering flavour and an inviting cheesy aroma.

Coolea Farmhouse Cheese’s history goes back to 1979 when Helene and Dick Willems decided to start making cheese from milk produced on their small farm in the beautiful mountains of Coolea, in West Cork. It all started as a hobby and soon developed into a small enterprise and the good name of ‘Coolea Cheese,’ was quickly known all over the country. In 1991 their son Dicky joined the team and by 1993 became the main cheesemaker. In 1999 both Helene and Dick retired. Dicky’s wife Sinead has now joined him to work together keeping up the high standard that was built before them.

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