Cornish Blue has been produced on the Stansfield’s farm on Bodmin Moor since 2001. At that time milk prices had collapsed and dairy farmers were facing a struggle to survive.
In the search for a new revenue stream Phillip and Carol Stansfield starting thinking about making cheese and noticed that there was no blue cheese being made in Cornwall. Phillip enrolled on a cheesemaking course at Cheshire College of Agriculture, turned a former bottling plant at the end of the milking parlour into a cheese production facility and Cornish Blue was born.
“With milk prices down to around 15p per litre we had to find a way of generating a different income stream. We did about two years research through the MDC, British Cheese Board and DEFRA, and the first thing we noticed was that there was no blue cheese being made in Cornwall.
We decided we didn’t want to compete with Stilton and when we looked at softer, milder blue cheeses, we discovered they were all imported. It was clear that there was a gap in the market for a British made milder blue cheese and we already had a name for it – Cornish Blue”
LEARNING TO MAKE CHEESE
Being just on the edge of Bodmin Moor Knowle Farm is ideally placed for cheesemaking as the very moist climate makes for good pasture which is important for the local milk that goes into the cheese. Once the cheeses are made they enter the maturing room where they stay for 12 to 14 weeks to enable them to achieve their full character and flavour. They are checked daily and turned weekly to ensure moisture is evenly distributed throughout the cheese. Finally the cheese is cut and packed by hand ready for distribution across the UK and overseas.
In 2004 Cornish Blue won its first award – The Tesco Cheese Challenge followed soon afterwards with winning Supreme Champion at the Bath and West Show.
Then in 2010 Cornish Blue became the World Champion Cheese. An unbelievable moment for Philip, Carol and the team.“Thousands of cheeses from around the world take part so we were delighted to be in the top 50 and never dreamed of being world champion. When they announced Cornish Blue was the supreme champion we were completely stunned. It was just unbelievable and completely changed the business overnight.”
In 2011 Cornish Blue came within a whisker of retaining the title finishing runner up.
CORNISH NANNY WAS CREATED
A NEW LOOK
In the summer of 2021 we finished the build of our second make room that is next door to our blue dairy on the farm.
This will allow us to extend our range into soft white cheeses in a completely separate environment from the blue. This project was part funded by Rural Development Programme for England.
Trials started early July and we couldn't wait to see what we could develop.
CORNISH BRIE ARRIVED
After a couple months of perfecting the recipe and maturity the team created a brand new brie style cheese.Philip wanted it to be a full flavoured farmhouse brie packed with creaminess and thats exactly what we got.
The brie went on sale in the autumn to local shops, delis and restaurants.
CORNISH CAMEMBERT WAS NEXT
After the success of our Cornish Brie in July 2023 we wanted to extend our soft cheese offering with a camembert as well.The recipe is still one of the four original recipes that Philip first created back in 2001 so we have had to keep hold of it for a while but we think it's worth the wait. The camembert is described as soft and smooth interior and milky aroma but most importantly a powerful rich buttery flavour with a hint of farm yard which creates the distinctive character of the cheese.