Duckett's Caerphilly Ltd., Somerset
The Duckett family have been making Caerphilly in Somerset for three generations. It was originally made on their family farm in Wedmore, however in 2001 production moved to Westcombe dairy. Chris Duckett traveled daily despite poor health to continue production. In late 2007 Jemima Cordle came to spend some time with local cheese makers from her research lab in Oxford. She loved cheese making so much she soon knew that her heart was here in the dairy in Somerset. In February 2008 she became joint owner of Duckett's Caerphilly Limited along with Westcombe dairy. Chris retained 10% and is happy knowing that the cheese is in the capable and passionate hands of Jemima.
Sadly Chris died in August 2009.
Jemima continued to love making the cheese but found the commercial aspects not to her taste. She sold her share of the business to Richard and Tom Calver of Westcombe who are now major shareholders and committed to continuing the Duckett's name and the cheese of course!
Duckett's Caerphilly is a truly hand made cheese involving not a single mechanised step besides the pumping away of the whey and the washing of the moulds (for which the team are very grateful)!
Milk is provided by two separate herds of Friesian Holstein cows. Careful attention by the herdsmen and the sensitive farming techniques employed by farmer, Richard Calver (also of Westcombe dairy) ensure that the milk arrives at the dairy in perfect condition and rich in natural flavour.
People often wonder how Caerphilly can be made in Somerset - surely, they say, it is a Welsh cheese! However production in the West Country began long ago, towards the end of the 1800's, when not enough could be made in Wales to satisfy the demands of hungry miners. Jemima is particularly passionate about the 'Aged Caerphilly' made using raw milk and matured for at least six weeks or so giving it a wonderful clean yet deep flavour. The team at Duckett's Caerphilly Ltd are proud to be continuing a tradition that is a vital part of the history of such a wonderful cheese!