Meet the Culture Starters - Strathearn Cheese Co
Meet Pierre Leger and Drew Watson, founders of Strathearn Cheese Co.
When and why did Strathearn Cheese Co. begin?
Pierre and Drew met in Crieff, playing rugby together at Crieff & Strathearn Rugby Club.
With a background in catering and hospitality, Pierre already had a keen interest in food, and through his previous roles had found that there was great demand for Scottish rind washed cheese. However, no one was currently producing such a cheese.
Drew said, “Pierre was talking to me one night in the rugby club, and said he was thinking of starting up a business to make this particular type of cheese. That was the spark that set things in motion.”
The business idea escalated when Pierre’s wife gave him a kit for Christmas and he tried making his own cheese for the first time, and was surprised at how good it tasted. The due then decided to change careers and set up in business together.
What has the business journey been like?
Since their first batch of cheese in 2016, the duo have honed their craft, and produce a collection of much loved cheeses. This includes Strathearn, a strong rind cheese made with pasteurised cow’s milk, that is washed in local Glenturret whisky. Lady Mary is a soft cheese flavoured with wild garlic, and Wee Comrie is mild semi soft cheese which is a customer favourite. The business places emphasis on local provenance, and sources high quality pasteurised milk from local Graham’s Dairy in Bridge of Allan.
From starting out at farmers markets to building a loyal customer base of restaurants and delis, the business has gone from strength to strength.
What challenges and successes has the business faced?
The team had a run of successes at the 2022 Royal Highland Show, winning Champion Cheese 2022 for the Wee Comrie. They also won Best Small Producer, Best Scottish Cheese and Reserve Overall Daily Champion, so it was a great to see their hard work paying off with such esteemed recognition from the industry.
What does the future hold?
There are currently plans afoot for new types of cheese, including possibly a smoked of blue cheese. Watch this space!
You can buy Strathearn’s cheeses in-store or online.