Working in Cheese – The Cheesemonger

Academy courses educate both consumers and professionals on the foundations of cheesemaking, the role of affinage, its history, tradition and the differences between large scale and artisanal production. This knowledge in turn breeds a greater appreciation for cheese and importantly, its value.

Next in our series taking a look behind the scenes of key jobs in the cheese industry we meet Cheesemonger Annie Meakin from world renowned cheesemonger Paxton & Whitfield. Paxton & Whitfield have been sourcing, maturing and selling cheese for over 200 years and within their portfolio they now have four iconic cheese shops; two in London, Stratford Upon Avon and Bath.

About Annie Meakin

Meet Annie Meakin, London Manager of Paxton & Whitfield. Based in London, Annie looks after both the Jermyn street and Cale street shops. As well as managing the retail and wholesale businesses, Annie is also an Academy of Cheese Trainer and so teaches our Level One course on behalf of Paxton & Whitfield.

Annie Meakin outside Paxton & Whitfield shop in Jermyn Street

There are a huge variety of tasks, every day is different!

A Cheesemonger Q&A with Annie Meakin

I’ve been working in cheese for … 13 years

My first job in the cheese world was … working at Borough Market on a specialist Swiss stall, KaseSwiss

My current job title is … London Manager for Paxton & Whitfield and in my role I’m responsible for the wholesale and retail operations of Paxton & Whitfield’s two London shops (Jermyn Street & Cale Street).

A typical workday involves … a huge variety of tasks and responsibilities, overseeing orders, cheese quality, training for staff and our wholesale customers, future planning – every day is different!

My favourite part of my job is … constant access to cheese.

In my career I’m most proud of … becoming a trainer for Academy of Cheese Level 1.

The worst part of my job … is customer complaints.

My advice for someone wanting to become a Cheesemonger would be … learn all you can and eat while you learn!

I studied with Academy of Cheese … because I wanted to further my understanding of the science behind the craft of cheesemaking.

The confidence delegate have at the end of an Academy of Cheese course is amazing!

My favourite thing about Academy of Cheese … is the role they take in inspiring anyone who loves cheese and the confidence the delegates have at the end of the course is amazing.

I see the future of the cheese industry … as very exciting, there are lots of possibilities and with the right support and custom it will flourish.

Sinodun Hill, Annies Christmas Cheeseboard recommendation

My favourite cheese is (if I had to pick just one) … Aged Gruyere and I like to enjoy it with a good caramelised onion relish.

My Christmas 2020 cheeseboard will include … Sinodun Hill as it works so wonderfully with my mother in law’s fig jam and a glass of tawny port, it’s the perfect match.

With thanks to Paxton & Whitfield, founding Patron of Academy of Cheese : www.paxton&

You can read about other ways the Academy of Cheese supports the cheese industry HERE

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