We absolutely love British artisan cheese - it's all we sell and we're really proud to be able to work with UK's finest cheesemakers.
We have worked hard to create a process that replicates ordering cheese from a specialist cheesemonger, but online. Buying cheese from a cheesemonger is a special experience - you get to all the interesting quirks and story behind the cheesemaking process.
That’s why we include information cards with all our cheeses, in the hopes of replicating that experience.
The ordering process is as simple as can be - order either one of our subscription or classic boxes, choose your preferences (vegetarian only, no blue cheese or no goats cheese), and we'll pick a selection of award-winning British cheeses to include in your box.
We work directly with all of our cheesemakers to make sure you're getting the cheese at the perfect time in its life, exactly how they would want you to be eating it. You can also order from our Pick & Mix section, where you can pick single cheeses in various weights that you would like to include in your box.
We cut and wrap your cheeses on the day of dispatch, pack your order in sustainable WoolCool packaging and sent it out to you on your chosen day.
You can opt for next day delivery if you order before 2pm, making buying cheese online a quick and easy process.
We spoke to our founder, Sam, about what inspired him to launch The Cheese Collective.
Ever since I was young, I’ve always loved cheese. I think in part, it has something to do with being from the North East of England, specifically Middlesbrough. The local delicacy is a Parmo, or Parmesan, which is a breaded chicken breast, flattened, breadcrumbed and deep fried like the German chicken schnitzel. It's then topped with béchamel sauce and lovingly smothered in handfuls of Red Leicester cheese.
While this dish started as an end of the night takeaway dish, like a kebab or pizza in other parts of the country, the Parmo has become something of local legend in Teesside and is something people talk about with pride. Ask anyone from Teesside about Parmos and watch their faces light up.
This love of cheese flourished when I moved down south to London, and while there were no Parmos in site, my eyes were opened to the world of artisan British cheese. I was spoilt for choice across the amazing markets London has to offer.
I fondly remember my first trip to Borough Market and tasting two cheeses that are fixed in my memory, which I'm proud to sell today (Look for the Pick & Mix at the head of our online store).
The first was Bath Soft Cheese’s Bath Blue, which blew me away with its rich, salty taste, and I was amazed to hear it had been named best cheese in the world earlier that year. I've since come to understand that it had actually won the top prize at the World Cheese Awards in 2014, beating 2,600 other cheeses.
The other was Mayfield, which is produced by Alsop & Walker and is conveniently located right next door to Bath Soft Cheese. I hadn't tasted anything like it before and to this day it remains one of my all-time favourite cheeses, which I always try to have it in stock online.
The ability to visit the likes of these markets ended abruptly in 2020 when we were sent into lockdown. I looked for a place to buy cheese online but found there seemed to be no companies that specialised in selling award-winning British cheese online.
Many British cheesemakers weren’t set up to sell their products online, having previously relied on wholesalers, artisan markets or the hospitality industry, which had been shut down. The impact this had on their ability to trade was monumental and while many adapted remarkably quickly - swapping artisan markets for online markets - there was still no-one offering a wide spectrum of British cheese and regularly engaging with new British cheesemakers.
Also at the time, I was working with Hackney Food Bank, who are part of the Trussell Trust and unfortunately, they were at breaking point. To operate, they heavily rely on food and financial donations from corporations and individuals. This significantly decreased as the ability to fundraise through traditional methods in person vanished. No one was in the office to bolster fundraising efforts, and everything was moved online.
This is what spurred me on to form The Cheese Collective. I wanted to bring together a community of cheese lovers like myself, who wanted to support British cheesemakers as well as food bank meal donations.
While buying cheese online was initially alien to most people, I wanted to create an environment similar to my first experience of Borough Market and the Bath Soft Cheese stall. Buying cheese was an experience I loved so much because you could get to know about the farm, the cheesemaker, and all the interesting quirks and story behind the cheesemaking process.
To try and replicate this experience online, we decided to create cheese information cards to go along with all our cheeses. These playing card-sized provide a soundbite of information to try and celebrate the amazing work that our cheesemakers are doing.
I hoped that when customers received their boxes, opened the cheeses and read the cards, this would replicate that experience.
We paired the experience of eating amazing cheese with supporting foodbanks by partnering with The Trussell Trust, so for every box we sell, we donate a food bank meal.