Wensleydale Creamery’s history began with monks who perfected the art of cheese making back in the 1150s. This knowledge was passed down by the monks to the wives of local farmers, who then continued to produce cheese in their respective farmhouses.
In 1897, the manufacture of Wensleydale cheeses turned large scale when a local merchant bought additional milk from neighbouring farms specifically to make Wensleydale cheese. In the 1930s, the creamery faced large amounts of debt and eventually closed. This was a time of industrial depression, when trading conditions had become very difficult. In 1935, Kit Calvert, a businessman from Wensleydale, was able to gain support from the local farmers and raised enough money to finance the only dairy that produced cheese in Wensleydale. In 1966, the Milk Marketing Board was able to buy Calvert’s Cheese Business. By 1979, the creamery was passed to Dairy Crest. In May of 1992, 59 employees lost their jobs when the creamery was closed.
At the later part of 1992, a management buy out was completed and the creamery was now owned by four of its previous managers, with the help of one local businessman. Once the buyout was completed, the former managers began the recommencement of cheese making operations and the product ‘Real Yorkshire Wensleydale’ cheese was produced. The creamery has continued to do well, gaining a solid number of followers. The creamery even started to expand its operations, buying a creamery that was located near Ripon.
Currently, the creamery has over 200 employees. Wensleydale Creamery continues to produce a variety of cheeses, and has received global acclaim as well as multiple awards for their excellent quality. In July 2011, Wenseydale Creamery was again given recognition at the International Awards for Cheese. In August of 2012, Wensleydale’s Visitor Centre was given recognition for being one of the world’s best factories for cheese. Today, Wensleydale Creamery caters to the cheese demands of food wholesalers, multiple retailers, food export companies and food service operators.
Headquarters: Wensleydale,North Yorkshire
Ownership Type: Private
Employees: more than 200
Demography: retail cheese consumers, food retail companies, food service operators
Wensleydale Customer Care: 01969-667664