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.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas 2006

The effect of Christmas 2006 on our mental state can be illustrated by the following story. One night in November, my Cheese Shed partner James' wife was awakened by a mumbling sound at around 4am. Gradually the words became distinct.

They were: "pass me more Yarg".

The Cheese Shed had opened in May 2006 - six months after the initial idea - and it was in May that we had our first customer - such an exciting moment that we felt it should be committed to film. James is the bloke in the hat. I'm the other one.

We had no idea how far things could go from that first customer.
cheese se
Orders grew and grew through the autumn, and really started to accelerate from the end of November. James is used to running a shop, but even he was taken aback by the number of orders that were coming in. We stopped taking orders on 15th December in order to be able to deal effectively with all the ones we had. By that point it was actually a relief! Over the last few days we sent out hundreds of boxes, a team of four of us working in the evenings, finishing in the small hours. Then at 7am James and I were back in, putting the ice packs in the boxes and taping them up for the courier. James, his wife Jill and our helper Jack then worked all day in the deli. I don't know how they coped!

Here's Jill and I very, very late on Tuesday 19th December.

And it all went pretty well. There were a few problems of late delivery (in two cases, no delivery) but we were pleased ... if exhausted. It went ok, and we know how to do it better next year. Best of all, we've had all the confirmation that we need to tell us that the idea of the Cheese Shed works.

People are enjoying the website, and the idea of sending selections as gifts is really taking off. This is for two reasons, it seems to me. One is what I heard described as the phenomenon of people who are 'cash rich' and 'time poor': for them, internet shopping in general is really attractive. But there's another thing. So many people have loads of things. They don't need more! It's hard to buy them anything they'd want or need, which is where buying them an experience - rather than a thing - is attractive. And what better experience than a bunch of great cheeses?

NB: Can you have a bunch of cheeses?

Return to the Cheese Shed? Here's your way home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your site is brilliant keep up the good work.

3:47 pm

Blogger Ian said...

Thank you! Our Cheese Mission continues ...

11:17 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks 4 replying

7:54 pm


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