Lancashire firm behind Blacksticks Blue expands after buying Hampshire Cheese Company

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Have you tried Tunworth and Winslade cheeses?

Fourth-generation family cheesemakers, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses has become the largest independent soft cheesemaker in the UK after buying out another much-loved cheese brand.

Butlers, who operate out of Wilson Fields Farms in Inglewhite near Preston, and who are best-known for their Blacksticks Blue, have acquired Hampshire Cheese Company, home of much-loved soft cheeses Tunworth and Winslade, for an undisclosed sum.

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Hampshire Cheese Company was founded in 2005 by Stacey Hedges and has amassed a legion of fans for Tunworth and Winslade; two handcrafted, continental-style soft cheeses that are revered among some of the UK’s leading chefs, Michelin restaurants and premium independent retailers. 

Matthew Hall, fourth-generation owner at Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses said: “Bringing two incredible cheeses like Tunworth and Winslade into our family is super exciting and consistent with our soft cheese strategy. The quality and reputation that Stacey and her team have established for Tunworth and Winslade is something we will be proud to nurture with their loyal customers.

Butler's cheeseButler's cheese
Butler's cheese | Butler's cheese

"Over the years, Stacey has shared our mission to drive the British cheese renaissance in the UK and we are privileged to bring Tunworth and Winslade into our family, continue on that journey and get more of the amazing cheeses being made in Britain, to more people.”

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Butlers has maintained momentum in its soft cheese strategy as it moves on from a serious fire at its office and packing site in November 2023. The fourth-generation family cheesemakers were turning milk to cheese at the dairy within hours of the fire and ensured its range of farmhouse soft cheeses were delivered to customers in time for Christmas. Butlers’ range of blue cheeses including flagship brand, Blacksticks, were back in supply in early February. 

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