Reproduced courtesy of Fodder, Great Yorkshire Food.Featured Supplier - Shepherds Purse Cheeses
Judy Bell started making her cheese back in the 80's. She got the idea when she took a part-time job at an Osteopath clinic in Northallerton. It was here that it became apparent to Judy that many people seemed to have an intolerance to dairy products. After reading up on the condition she discovered sheep milk cheese would be a suitable alternative for the intolerance sufferers. The hard part was finding a local ready supply of sheep milk. So Judy bought her first small flock of Friesland sheep.
From there on in, it was years of hard work, experimenting, running the farm and bringing up a family. Judy finally launched Shepherds Purse Cheeses in 1989 at the Great Yorkshire Show; in the same year she won first prize at the International Cheese Awards in Nantwich. A whole string of awards were soon to follow (too many to mention!).
The team at Shepherds Purse now make a range of cheeses from ewes, cows and even buffalo's milk. Fodder stocks most of the range including: Yorkshire Blue; Olde York; Fine Fettle; Bell's Bluemin White; Buffalo Blue; Mrs Bell's Blue and Basilano. Judy and her team continue to handmake all of her wonderful cheeses at Newsham, near Thirsk. Judy's three children have now grown up and they all work in the business.
Judy Bell is not only passionate about making cheese, she is also a wonderful advocate for local food.