EADT Suffolk - - Food -

Former ac­coun­tants Clare Jack­son and her dad John Ormerod had grand plans when they took on Law­son’s Deli in Alde­burgh this Jan­uary.

High on the agenda was trans­form­ing the much-loved shop into a mecca for cheese afi­ciona­dos. But nei­ther an­tic­i­pated that, less than a year into their ven­ture, they’d be open­ing a sec­ond shop in Southwold. This au­tumn, not only does the new sis­ter deli open, but both shops will un­dergo a to­tal re­brand­ing, in­clud­ing a new name, yet to be re­vealed.

All things fromage are at the cen­tre of their foodie store, says Clare. “Both of us are re­ally into our cheeses. That’s what we’re fo­cus­ing on here, re­ally try­ing to in­vig­o­rate the cheese counter. We’ve taken great strides in that di­rec­tion and will con­tinue in Southwold.”

Clare and John have been work­ing with Lon­don’s Neal’s Yard Dairy, learn­ing about all things cheese – in­clud­ing how to dis­play great hunks of it in a more invit­ing and ac­ces­si­ble way.

“We’re fo­cus­ing our range on some re­ally key pieces of cheese,” adds Clare. “Our new big ini­tia­tive is we have had a cheese of the month every month since we’ve started. One of my favourites was Door­stone. It’s a very mild goats’ cheese. A lot of peo­ple came in say­ing ‘I don’t like goats’ cheese’, but they tried it and went away with it!”

Also sam­pled in the shop re­cently was Le Gruyere, with both a Re­serve (ma­tured for six to nine months) and a sum­mer cheese laid out side by side so cus­tomers could taste the marked dif­fer­ence be­tween the two. While the Re­serve is nutty with a bite, the sum­mer ver­sion is sweeter, made with milk from cows sent out to sum­mer pas­ture.

Along­side chang­ing guest cheeses is a ‘who’s who’ of big name ar­ti­sanal and award­win­ning va­ri­eties, such as mouth-tin­gling Lin­colnshire Poacher and Mont­gomery ched­dar, blue-veined, spicy Col­ston Bas­sett stil­ton, and melt­ing, mush­roomy Baron Bigod from Fen Farm Dairy near Bun­gay. Tast­ings are en­cour­aged. Both both Clare and John want to pass on their pas­sion for great cheese to all their cus­tomers.

Else­where in the shop are the per­fect com­pan­ions for some cheese in­dul­gence.

“We’ve got crack­ers, chut­neys from sev­eral dif­fer­ent ranges, and we’re jar­ring up our own in-house rel­ish and chut­ney. One’s beet­root-based, then there’s a thick chut­ney which is re­ally nice, with fig seeds through it. We’ve got lo­cal honey from Hill Farm, and beau­ti­ful honey from The Art of Honey. Eric sources that in Hun­gary. They pro­duce th­ese hon­ey­combs in bam­boo and they’re ab­so­lutely fab­u­lous.” To gar­nish the cheese­board there’s a new pick and mix nut bar, and fresh figs.

The new Southwold ver­sion of the deli is near the Ad­nams Cel­lar and Kitchen in the town, in what used to be a run-down an­tiques shop. Again, it will be cheese fo­cused, says Clare, with the full deli range, but the way the cheese is dis­played will be dif­fer­ent, not be­hind a glass screen, and cus­tomers will ‘in­ter­act’ with it dif­fer­ently.

“The cheese is go­ing to be a lot more prom­i­nent,” says Clare. “We want to cu­rate our cheese re­ally beau­ti­fully.”

Man­ager, Nico De Vil­liers and Owner of Law­sons Deli In Alde­burgh, Clare Jack­son.

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