In the shadow of Cadbury Hill, in the Vale of Camelot lies a family cheesemaking business that has been farming and making West Country Farmhouse Cheddar for nearly two centuries.

W H Longman & Sons was already a successful business when William Longman, great grandfather of the present Managing Directors, Sarai-Jayne and Julius Longman expanded the business while ensuring that none of the traditional methods of cheesemaking were lost.

That ancestry still runs strongly through the business today with Longman’s group of farms continuing to farm some 2,000 acres and using the milk from over a 1,000 cows to produce their award winning cheeses. Right through the middle of their land runs King Arthur’s Hunting Trail and legend has it that King Arthur’s Camelot was built on the top of Cadbury Hill – a romantic thought that cheese wielded in a time honoured fashion is still made in that way today!

Their flagship brand is the “Vale of Camelot” creamy mature cheddar which is also now available as an extra mature strong cheddar and, meeting a rising consumer demand, as a light half fat mature which has all the flavour and heritage of a good farmhouse cheese but with only half the fat. It has a Product of Designated Origin Certificate (PDO) and having been launched three years ago has gained a good following locally with sales building nationally.

According to Julius, “we work hard and are immensely proud of the cheese we produce, taking great care from the feeding and health of our cows to give us a consistency of milk through to the careful maturation of the cheese from which we select our award winning cheddar.” Sarai-Jayne adds “a great depth of the taste runs right through all our cheese with the initial explosion of a good West Country Cheddar giving way to a smooth creamy texture and rounded flavour.” They are clearly getting something right as following on from their successes last year the cheese continues to win awards being successful at British Cheese awards and world re-known Nantwich cheese show once again; the world cheese awards are next! It is obvious that this is a family passionate about cheese and what they do, with cheesemaking running through the blood of this generation and the next is already showing strongly with their children Oliver, Ben and Freddie already proving adept at identifying and grading cheddar – they’re only 7, 5 and 3.

About 12 years ago, because the company had a surplus of capacity in the creamery, it began to sell its cheese locally into pubs in the area. Gradually, a demand grew for other types of cheese and so a sister company Longman Cheese Sales was set up. Today it now offers over a thousand different types of cheese and other dairy products from primarily, the West of England but able to source through their links as cheese producers, to meet specific requests from customers, a wide variety of cheese from throughout the rest of Britain and Europe as well, Sarai-Jayne says, “We work hard with smaller cheese producers and in several cases we have helped and encouraged them to diversify. In many ways, it is like going back 100 years, when every farm would produce its own cheese and sell it locally. As a producer we know how difficult it can be when you are small and trying to run the farm and sell the cheese and so, today, we are their route to market.”

Today Longman Cheese Sales distribute to wholesalers, schools, pubs, hotels, restaurants, deli’s and farmshops, serving an area from Plymouth to Eastbourne and up to London and along the M4 to Bristol using its own transport and further afield using third party haulier. It currently offers about 2,000 products having expanded its product range to include their own butter and cream together with olives, olive oils and fine charcuterie. Sarai-Jayne says, “Our reputation is based upon being able to meet our customer’s demands and give them the high quality service and support they need for their businesses. As an example, recently we were approached on a Monday by a chef who wanted a specific type of fresh Mozzarella cheese, and by Friday he had it in his restaurant, all the way from Italy.” Since its inception, Longman Cheese Sales has seen a great growth in British cheeses with people really keen to understand the provenance of the cheese they are eating and much preferring to eat English cheese than that imported from abroad.

Summing up, Sarai-Jayne says, “We are very excited about the way that the two businesses are developing and that we will continue to produce and deliver high quality award winning cheese coupled with good value for money and outstanding levels of service.”

For further information please telephone
01963 441146/440401 or visit

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