Sarah Featured In The Great British Food Magazine

Our lovely Cheese Making Workshop teacher, Sarah from The Shebbear Cheese Co, has been featured in this month's Great British Food Magazine. A huge congratulations Sarah! Very well deserved!

IMG_6399 Sarah along with a number of great British small producers and farmers, share about how they cope with Christmas, and the time, effort and energy involved in creating all the delicious food they produce for us to enjoy with our loved ones around the Christmas table.


We only have 2 more spots left on Sarah & Chris's 1st  Cheese Making Workshop for 2014 on Saturday  15th February. And spots are filling up quickly on their 2nd Cheese Making Workshop on Saturday 26th April. So if you love cheese, and want to learn how to make it, do come along!

You can find out more about the workshop here »

You can read all about our last Cheese Making Workshops with Sarah hereherehere.

If you stuck for Christmas Gift Ideas, why not give the gift of Good Food with your nearest and dearest by treating them to a gift voucher for one of the Cheese Making Workshops? We offer gift vouchers which will allow the recipient to choose a workshop that best suits their schedule.

To find out more and book your spot on one of the Cheese Making Workshops, call Sue on 01278 662629 or email


Cheese Making Workshop

“Poets have hitherto been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese”  G K Chesterton

Last Saturday saw the 2nd cheese making workshop at Clavelshay Barn led by Sarah & Chris Styles-Power of Shebbear Cheese.  Last time Sarah taught the class alone, this time she brought her husband Chris to help keep the class in check.  Sarah and Chris are a great double act – the Morecombe & Wise of the cheese making world and soon had everyone at ease and hands on in the making process.

Shebbear Cheese


A lovely group of people – Annie, Sarah, Caroline, Viv, James, Lynda & Stephen  had a really enjoyable day learning the process of making cheese . The workshop certainly went with a swing, especially all enjoying the lunch with home-made soup, Shebbear cheese and wine. Annie’s rehearsal for her forthcoming village production had us all falling about with laughter. (Note to self – book Annie for every workshop/course as entertainment.)

Shebbear Cheese Shebbear Cheese

Despite the good humour, much was learnt and taken in by our willing students with Annie & Sarah keen to practise at home making their own Classey Valley cheese - can’t wait to try that.  All took home a cheese they had made – a soft feta type and a semi-soft one which needs to mature in the fridge before eating.

Stephen Barrett who was taking part in the course , runs a restaurant in Plymouth (Bistro One)and is also a journalist specialising in food and wine. He is writing an article on the cheese making workshop for the Western Morning News and it should appear within the next few weeks. Photographer Richard Austin took endless trouble taking shots for the article.


Everyone so enjoyed the day that they want another one – we will probably have one in May , when we will learn how to make  a blue cheese.

Thank you to everyone who took part , with special thanks of course to Sarah & Chris .

Spotlight on... Sarah Styles-Power from The Shebbear Cheese Company

We love our local producers, suppliers and Good Food Workshop instructors here at Clavelshay Barn. We love spending time with these amazing people who do what they love, and  their passion for good food and crafting a more sustainable and tasty world is constant source of inspiration for us. We also think most of them have some pretty interesting stories too, so we thought we would share some of our favorites here in an ongoing series.

Starting with our lovely Cheese Making Workshop instructor Sarah Styles-Power from The Shebbear Cheese Company. Sarah runs her little local cheese business with her husband Chris from their home in Devon and makes moreish hand-made cheeses to traditional recipes with quirky names like Old Sheb, Forda, Bramley Barton and Forda Blue which she now sells at local farmers markets.

This is the story of how Sarah became a cheese maker...

How I Started Cheese Making

Four years ago we had a swarm of bees in the wall of a barn. We phoned the local bee keepers association and they sent a couple of their members out to collect the bees. This involved 3 visits and whilst chatting to one of them I discovered that she had a pony and trap – something I was interested in as I had a horse broken to drive but had never been able to afford lessons or a harness and cart! She offered to take me out in hers and it was whilst we were driving around the countryside that we discovered both of us had always wanted to make cheese.

 She had bought some second hand molds and a book and I had a book!

The plan was to buy milk from her neighbour, a dairy farmer and I was to order cultures and rennet. Unfortunately her neighbour wouldn’t sell his milk so we had to use supermarket milk.

There was no plan on the day we just opened the book and decided to make a Derby cheese!

Her largest saucepan wasn’t big enough so we ended up with a 15L plastic bucket that had stored her bee sugar! This didn’t fit properly into the water filled roasting tin but somehow we ended up with curds and whey. We used one of the molds she had bought and then set about pressing it in my cider press using a saucer and wood as a form for the top of the mold.

We then pressed it to death. Surprisingly we ended up with an edible cheese.

Using the left over whey we made ricotta and then lastly made a soft cheese which had to be left for 24 hours to rennet in a warm place. Despite being left on the side of her aga for some hours before her husband came home and pointed out how hot it was, we ended up with a soft cheese that tasted ok.

A few weeks later we had another cheesemaking day and made a cheddar, ricotta and soft cheese.

By this time, I was hooked and decided to buy some cheesemaking supplies and make some cheese at home. The beekeeper was busy studying for exams and didn’t want to come over to mine to make cheese so I gradually worked my way through the cheeses in the book.

Friends started to ask me to make cheese as presents for them and then I attended a Farmers Market in the village and actually sold cheese to customers!


This all happened over 12 months and I was still using supermarket milk which was proving quite expensive. I then found a local farmer who made ice cream with his milk and was prepared (and allowed by DEFRA) to sell milk to me. So for the last 3 years I have been making cheese with this milk and gradually increasing output, and have started selling my cheese at Farmers Markets and Food Fairs.

I find cheesemaking very therapeutic and despite being time-consuming I’ve never got fed up with it, in fact I love being a cheese maker and can’t imagine doing anything else now. I just wish I’d discovered this magical process years ago. I’ve got a lot to thank the bees for!


Sarah will be showing us how to make some of her delicious cheeses at our Cheese Making Workshop on Saturday 23rd February, so if you love cheese, then come and learn how to make it! You can find out more about the workshop here and call Sue to book your spot on 01278 662629.

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