Jericho Cheese Company is opening a new shop on Ship Street in Oxford city centre – to the delight of the city’s foodies.
It has been five years since cheesemonger Adam Verlander opened the Jericho Cheese Company on Little Clarendon Street, which rapidly took off, as its reputation for selling the very best of British cheese spread.
And now Adam is delighted to be opening the company’s second site this autumn in an even more central location, from where it will sell its 40 British and Irish cheeses.
“This second site allows us to engage with more customers, double our staff, and hopefully double the amount of cheese we sell”
Adam hopes the second shop will help UK cheese producers while regenerating Ship Street in the process. “The plight of cheesemakers during the pandemic highlighted that these producers need our support even though their cheese is excellent.
“So this second site will allow us to engage with more customers, double the number of staff we employ, and the amount of cheese we sell, which will have a trickle-down effect on our producers. That is the most important thing for us: because without our producers, we are nothing.”
Jericho Cheese Company was founded by Adam in Jericho in October 2016 in a joint venture with Neal’s Yard Dairy, which is Jericho’s main cheese supplier.
“We had actually started looking for a second site before Covid-19 hit. We were growing up, we had established ourselves. It seemed logical to investigate the idea of something more central, though at the back of the mind I thought I’d never be able to afford rent or rates on places in the centre of town,” Adam explains.
“without our producers, we are nothing”
So when Landlords Jesus College split a large Ship Street retail unit into smaller units to allow small-scale, independent stores to open in Ship Street, Adam jumped at the chance.
“A small company like ours couldn’t have afforded – and didn’t need – a large unit. By making the space smaller it has automatically made it more affordable and manageable,” Adam says.
Ship Street is already the home to one of Oxford’s finest restaurants, No.1 Ship Street, and one of our favourite hairdressers Matthew Clulee, so Adam is quietly hopeful that Jericho Cheese Company will encourage other small businesses to open on their new street.
He says: “Together with Jesus College, we want to help create a new food hub on Ship Street and turn what is currently a quiet street into something with life and vitality. There are loads of producers and retailers who could fill that gap and generate something that people can get really excited about.”