Ashmore Farmhouse Cheese, Dorset
Pat and David Doble made this cheese in a purpose converted building on a farm just ten miles from their home in Ashmore. Sadly they sold the business in 2007 and retired. I am sure it was the right thing for them but I shall greatly miss their cheese. The dairy was dismantled and taken to Kent by the new owners.
Ashmore Farmhouse cheese had already enjoyed several reincarnations, as it was David who first ventured into cheese making. Fifteen years later Pat bought the business from him. Part of their agreement was that David would help with the business for the first month. He has been helping for over ten years now, although Pat and David only married in 2002. When I visited in 2006 they made cheese on 4 days each week, using 1250 litres of milk each time. Unpasteurised milk straight from the farmyard was piped into each vat and was the key to producing a good clean and flavoursome cheese. Traditional Caerphilly moulds were used which are flatter and smaller than Cheddar truckles. Each mature cheese weighed about 4kg - not too heavy to move around yet the cheese still developed a traditional crusty surface. David and Pat could be found in markets selling their cheese which reached maturity after three or four months. Their commitment and dedication to the cheese and their staff was clear and their efforts are well rewarded.
They will be greatly missed by lots of regular customers, but we wish them a long and happy retirement.