We can’t quite believe it. Where has the time gone? We’re proud to say we’ve been crafting award-winning cheese from the ground up here in Devon for 45 years. In this blog, we’re going to be sharing more about why we started making cheese all those years ago and explaining some of the struggles and celebrations as farmers and cheesemakers over the last five decades.
Quicke's Journey into Cheese
In the 1920s before the Milk Marketing Board was set up, Sir John Quicke’s father used to send milk to Exeter only to find that there were no buyers. In the early 1970s, milk prices were falling, and the farm’s milk was going to other cheesemakers. Spurred on by the idea that they were losing out, Sir John and Lady Prue visited other local cheesemakers where they discovered that they were financially stronger, and so it became obvious to them that they better move into cheesemaking too.
Sir John’s work in London meant that it was left to his wife to find a cheesemaker and sell the cheeses. Even way back then they knew they wanted to produce ‘something unique, something akin to chateau-bottled wine instead of a commodity’.
‘something unique, something akin to chateau-bottled wine instead of a commodity’
After spending time doing a journalism PhD in London, 1982 saw Mary work for a year in a Shropshire farmhouse creamery to hone her skills, and returned to Home Farm in 1984 to take over cheesemaking from her mother, Prue.
Quicke's Cheese Timeline
Quicke's Cheese, 45 years on
Today, 45 years on from when Sir John and Prue first made cheese, the way we make our crowning jewel hasn't changed. From the land and the Devon soil to the cows and the milk, through to the cheese stores and the grading, we are always striving for greatness at every stage of the cheese's creation.
Today, it is Mary steering the ship. Working under the family motto that was forged centuries before 'Petit ardua virtus' - 'strength seeks challenges', we are still committed to doing right by our land - by respecting those who have farmed it before us, and preserving it for those who will continue to do so in the future.
We're lucky enough to have been recognised recently at the British Cheese Awards, World Cheese Awards, International Cheese Awards and Great Taste Awards as well as the Taste of the West and Artisan Cheese Awards, among others. Have a look at the list of our most recent awards here.