Having achieved worldwide fame as the bass player with Blur, Alex James now produces award-winning cheeses from his Oxfordshire farm and has partnered with Asda for a new value range


Name: Alex James


Job title: Joint owner


Company: Alex James Presents


1. When did you start the company?

18 months ago but I’ve been involved with cheese for some years now.


2. What makes your company stand out from others in the same sector?

Me! Seriously though – we are quite unusual in that we make both artisan cheeses and everyday cheeses and we are equally passionate about both. We want to offer people a choice of deliciousness across all price points.


3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The pleasure I get from seeing others eat and enjoy my cheese.


4. What has been your biggest challenge?

The search for perfection, trying to make anything is challenging – but making something isn’t that hard. Trying to make something that is brilliant, anything – whether it is a song, a tree house or cheese – is always a challenge. We have almost perfected a continental line that is right for supermarkets. It has taken longer than I ever envisaged and caused numerous headaches but I am really proud of it.


5. Which of your work achievements are you most proud of?

My kids! Being a dad is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had.


6. What are the most important developments coming up in your sector?

It’s hard to tell where the next big thing is coming from. That’s why it’s important to get out there amongst it – and keep your ear to the ground.


7. Which person/company operating in the food and drink sector do you most admire and why?

Patricia Michelson from La Fromagerie – for her expertise in affinage and her enthusiasm and passion.


8. What are your company’s most important ethical considerations?

As an organic farmer, I know it is vital for dairy farmers to get a fair price for the milk they produce. I love the idea of cheese for trees. I have planted thousands of trees. We are a tiny company but we are working on a mechanism to support this on a wider scale through our cheese sales.


9. Where would you like to see your company in five years’ time?

I think it’s cheeseboards, cheese knives, pickles and biscuits next.


10. What would be your perfect meal?

Cheese on toast, pickled onions and beer.


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