With the price of wholesale milk falling, the Davenports took a short course in cheese making and invented Britain’s first unpasteurised soft blue-brie: Cote Hill Blue.
Mary and Michael Davenport are small tenancy farmers of Cote Hill Farm in Lincolnshire, with only 63 cows’ (including some of the unusual Red Poll breed which has a rich milk). With the price of wholesale milk falling, the Davenports knew they would have to add value to their milk or give up dairy farming.
So in 2005 they went on a short cheese-making course and decided to have a go at it. They noticed there was a gap in the market for a soft unpasteurised blue cheese, so they went to great lengths to develop what is recognised as a notoriously hard cheese to make (there was a reason for the gap in the market!).
Cote Hill Blue was the outcome – a soft, rich blue given a distinctive and unusual taste by the quality of their unpasteurised milk.