Introducing Our New Premises
We're moving! Earlier this month (August 2019) we made an offer for another building here in Bovey Tracey. To our great pleasure that offer was accepted, which means we'll be moving down there sometime in the New Year. It's very exciting, as it gives us the opportunity to take The Cheese Shed into a whole new phase.
The Building, and Bovey Handloom Weavers
The new place is only a few hundred yards from the old place. At the moment we're slap-bang in the middle of Bovey. Walk down the hill, past Devon Guild of Craftsmen and over the bridge; just a hundred yards more and on your right is a peach-coloured building with the sign 'Bovey Handloom Weavers' (top, middle).
Here, in 1938, the Scottish-born Angus Litster set up his looms and started weaving tweed. He'd come down from Galashiels to teach Scottish weaving techniques at Dartington Hall, where a tweed mill was being established as part of the visionary scheme of Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst. He liked Devon and decided to stay. Above, left, is a picture of the building in the 1940s, Later, his daughter Liz and husband Stuart took over the business and carried it on until 2018, when the looms were sold. There's a rather beautiful film of Stuart weaving here.
Bovey Handloom Weavers has a shop on the road; behind that is a small courtyard and a large square barn (above, right) which housed the three looms. The whole property will form the new home of The Cheese Shed.
Bringing Everything Under One Roof
Where we are now is just a bit small. The former HSBC Bank building at 41 Fore St has been great for the seven years we've been here, but has never really given us everything we need. We use several extra spaces for storage - a couple of rooms in the buidling next door plus a shed around the back. And at Christmas we have to borrow a big double garage (also out the back) in order to handle all the extra work - and extra people.
So one thing that's great about the Handloom Weaver's building is that all of this can be accomodated in one place. That's going to be a real bonus - especially at the busy times. We'll have room for all our storage there, and in December the old weaving shed at the back will become a busy hive of Christmas packers.
A New Dimension: We're Opening A Shop!
However, once installed at the Handloom Weavers, we won't just be doing what we do now. There'll be a new dimension to The Cheese Shed, because we will be opening a shop for the first time. Yes! An actual, bricks-and-mortar shop! Whoop-de-woop! We'll showcase a hand-picked selection from the cheeses available online, and I think I can promise that they'll be presented in a striking way that people will really enjoy.
It'll be great to be able to sell direct to the public, to talk to people about what we think are truly great products. Local people will get a chance to come in and buy from us, and our customers around the country will be able to meet us when they're in the Westcountry. This will be a new and, for us, very exciting way to interact with the public. Close to the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, the brilliant Cafe 3 Sixty and with excellent parking close by, we'll be very easy to find.
So that's it! It's a whole new era. We'll keep you in touch with how things are progressing, and look forward to seeing you at 1 Station Rd, Bovey Tracey early in 2020.