Charlie Hodson of Hodson and Co Cheese Room with Deli in Aylsham tells us about a special new partnership
To put it mildly, the past year has been a little of a roller coaster. I thought maybe a diary of what’s going on for us at Hodson & Co might just be the remedy you need to put a little more spring in your step.
Since Christmas, it’s been rather a quiet affair in the Cheese Room but we count ourselves very fortunate for the support that the local community in Aylsham and surrounding villages have shown us.
We have kept ourselves busy by sourcing lots of interesting new cheeses for you like Livarot from Normandy in France, Fontina from the Aosta region of Italy and our British buffalo Cheddar which just seems to make everyone smile.
We are really blessed to be able to say that over 75 percent of all our cheeses are from the British Isles, of which 60 percent are from Norfolk and Suffolk. From everyone’s favourite, Binham Blue by Mrs Temple in North Norfolk, to the St Cera by St Jude’s Cheese from Bungay in Suffolk, the list is endless and just reaffirms that we really are a region of amazing cheese makers.
Add to that the fabulous crackers from Miller’s Elements (beetroot, potato and spinach) and Peter’s Yard sea salt sourdough flatbreads, what more can you possibly need? Chutneys, I hear you shout. Well, for me, I was lucky enough to sample Cherished’s Turkish Delight Jelly. Where to begin? It’s made by the lovely Liz Brundell in Aylsham, and it’s simply divine – there are no other words for this jar of cheese enhancing goodness. I’m watching out for when it starts to win some awards!
So, alongside these and many other foodie finds that just sit so beautifully on our shelves and within the cheese room we have also been working on other projects and partnerships.
Although we have always worked alongside the Coastal Exploration Company which is based on the quay in Wells, we had always hoped that, at some point, that partnership would grow and we are now so pleased to announce from next month, we will be supplying the expedition rations, with chutneys and marmalades from The Tea Lady in Breckland, Bread from Bob’s Bakery in North Walsham, charcuterie from Marsh Pig in South Norfolk, bacon and sausages from Coxfords of Aylsham, plus the most amazing black pudding from The Fruit Pig Company, near Wisbech, what more could you possibly need?
The food is going to be served on gorgeous oak boards supplied by Paul Williams from Woods World Wide in Norwich and the food is kept cool thanks to Chill Pod products, a great British invention which keeps produce chilled (or warm) without the need for electricity. All clever stuff.
What we really needed was a coffee partner, not just for CEC but for Hodson & Co, too. So, we approached our good friends, Sean and Jo Arnoup, at Give It Some Beans from Mattishall, near Dereham, and crossed our fingers in hope – and with a little help from the guys at Naked Marketing and Norwich Stamps, our new brand was born.
Not just a brand alone though – Jo had developed and roasted a blend just for us and we are delighted as our new Expedition Coffee Blend is now my go to coffee which is soon to be available not only on land but on the high seas, too.