Who doesn't love cheese? Love Cheese in York certainly do. With a vast selection and an in-store cheese café, this is one pungent local treasure worth seeking out. Owner Julian Merritt tells all…
What's so great about cheese?
Everything about it. There's so much variety. You can never get bored of it and say you hate all cheese, because there's new ones coming up all the time.
How many varieties can we choose from at Love Cheese?
At any one time we've probably got around 80 in the counter, but we change a few every week. We drop a couple and get three or four new ones in to try. It's all about keeping it as exciting and fresh as we can.
What are the best sellers?
The classics. West Country chedders like Keen's, Montgomery and Black Bomber. Real proper French Brie de Meaux and some of the blues like Stilton.
Have you always been into cheese?
I used to be a really fussy eater, I hardly ate anything at all when I was younger. Then suddenly in my late 20s I discovered cheese. It was a late discovery, so I'm really excited to discover new ones to add to our counter.
What's so special about the shop - why should people seek you out?
The shop part is great because as we've got so many cheeses we can always advise people on things. If someone asks for Brie, we can offer French, or perhaps they'd like to try an English Brie, or a sheep's milk or a goat's milk soft cheese. And people can taste samples so they can try something new. Also, we've got a café. I don't know anywhere that's got a cheese menu like ours. Cheese boards, mixed platters with lovely Parma ham, olives and honey roast ham and great sandwiches.
And you sell beers, too?
Yes, we like to match our beers and wines to different cheese. Beer, cider, lager - loads of different drinks go really well with cheese.
It's a tough call, but here are Julian's top three cheeses right now!
"An all-time classic, it's a really nice, strong, West Country cheddar."
"It's a sheep's milk Brie, which is really nice and mild and delicate."
"An Italian, semi-soft, washed rind cheese. It's got a nice salty outside as it's washed with a salt sponge."