TUCKED away in the leafy pastures of Earslwood is a speciality cheesemaking business which is thriving despite the economic downturn.
Fowler’s Forest Dairies Limited, in Small Lane, is a small family-run company, which boasts both mouth-watering and unusual types of handcrafted cheese, such as Warwickshire Truckle and Forest Blue and one with a tantalising mix of ale and mustard.
The appetising products can be found on the counters of Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons and are also sold to Becketts Farm Shop in Wythall and at Solihull Farmer’s Market.
Operating from a 90-acre farm with over 70 cows, the business has its roots in 17th century Derbyshire.
It can brag of a connection of almost
340 years in the trade, laying claim to
being the oldest family cheesemaking
firm in England.
Fowler’s was originally formed in 1840 in Hanbury, Worcestershire, and moved to Earslwood in 1898.
Currently run by the 13th generation family member Adrian Fowler as managing director and aided by his 70-year-old father David as a director and brother Neil, who runs the farm, the company is very family-orientated.
Adrian’s wife Clair also helps out with the accounts and even his twin children, 10-year-olds Abigail and Emily, get involved with labelling and boxing the items at Christmas.
Adrian said: “We had record sales of our products in December and at the end of the day we sell a quality product and that’s what we stand for and produce.
“We create 60 to 70 tonnes of cheese per year from cows on our farm.
“We sell well in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Birmingham.
“Cheesemaking is a 24/7 job, it is not something you clock in for in the morning at 9am and leave at 5pm, you still have to milk the cows.
“They don’t know its Christmas. It is something you must want to do - be part of this business. It is not just here, you are here to look after it for the next generation.”
The company is no stranger to accolades and last year picked up both gold and silver prizes at the prestigious British Cheese Awards in Cardiff in September.
For those who want further information about Fowlers, go to the firm’s website at www.traditionalcheeses.co.uk or telephone 01564 702329.