At their dairy in Monkland, just outside Leominster, Mark and Karen Hindle produce a wonderful range of award winning cheeses mostly made with milk from a farm just 3 miles away.
For most of us a drunken dinner party leads to nothing more significant than a hangover but for Mark and Karen Hindle it was life changing. Back in 1988, after some very generous hospitality, they agreed to buy a cheese shop, The Mousetrap in Leominster. The shop was a great success so they opened two more, Hereford in 1989 and Ludlow in 2000. Lack of local cheese was a real concern and shortly after buying their first shop Karen and Mark realised they’d have to learn to make their own, not easy in those days.
Eventually Karen tracked down a retired tutor from Taunton Agricultural College who agreed to give Karen lessons in her kitchen. A farmer friend made Karen a five gallon cheese vat and provided a decent supply of local milk. Using Ellen Yeld’s recipe from 1918 Karen developed their first cheese, the award winning Little Hereford. Other cheeses soon followed and in 1996 they opened Monkland Cheese Dairy just outside Leominster. In 2012 they sold their shops to concentrate on cheese making and today Monklands is a working dairy with a shop and café that showcase some of Hereford’s best local produce including, of course, Mark and Karen’s very fine cheeses.