How my Shed became the Hub of a Cheese Empire, delivering fabulous Westcountry cheeses to all corners of the land. How I became Bovey Tracey's Leading Shed-Based Virtual Cheesemonger. No, really.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Cheese Gifts

Here's a scenario you might recognise. You need to buy a present for a friend or relative. But ... they don't want anything! They don't need anything! Help! But just a moment ... what's that distant drumming of hooves? No, it's not the 7th Cavalry, it's The Cheese Shed riding to the rescue!

One things that quickly became clear is that lots of our customers are looking for a great present for someone they care about. Flowers and chocolates are the traditional standbys. Susie and I used several times, and the ease and simplicty of that service has been an influence on The Cheese Shed. In a few minutes you've sorted a great present which is quickly delivered by post to anywhere in the country. We had the hunch (hunches have played a big part in this project) that cheese might work for people as a gift.

So we put together a range of gift boxes and cheese selections. The selections are based on five contrasting cheeses - two cows cheeses, a goat, a blue and a soft cheese. The first one we brought in was the Cheese Shed Selection - five of our favourites, changing according to what we've got in stock, followed by the Devon Selection and Somerset Selection.

They were joined by the Dorset Selection (tricky! only ended up with three cheeses in this one ...) and finally the Cornish Selection (by contrast - spoilt for choice here), so that we now have a box for each of the Westcountry counties.

The final step was to create the Cheese Shed Gift Box. This is based on a five-cheese selection, but adds a lot of other lovely things. There are Bath Olivers and Otter Vale Chutney to go with your cheese, plus two bags of Burts Chips and a bottle of Luscombe Apple Juice. To top it off we add a selection of Brownes handmade chocolates.

Presentation matters. The cheeses are carefully wrapped in waxed paper and neatly boxed: we like to think they must be quite exciting to open! Ice packs keep the cheese cool, and delivery is by overnight service. We include a letter with information about the cheeses, and a card with whatever message the customer has asked for.

Here's an interesting fact. Our customers are mainly women; when they're sending cheese as a gift, it's usually for a man.

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Anonymous Tim Honnor said...

This is a brilliant piece of writing and just so true. We are all looking for special presents for special people that are not from the giants of Tesco and their ubiquitous like.
Well done the Cheese Shed - and Good Luck to all who sail in her.........

10:39 am

Blogger Ian said...

Thank you Tim! Said shed is even now setting sail into the unknown waters of 2007 ... cheese ahoy!

12:53 pm


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