UK – Lancashire-based fourth-generation family cheesemaker, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses, has completed the acquisition of Hampshire Cheese Company (HCC), a local soft cheese producer known for its handcrafted, continental-style soft cheeses Tunworth and Winslade.

The deal sees these acclaimed products join Butlers’ portfolio, aligning with the company’s strategy to expand its presence in the soft cheese market.

Over the past two years, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses has invested in soft cheese capacity, developing new products under its own label, as well as introducing branded items like Button Mill and Kidderston Ash goat cheese.

“Bringing two incredible cheeses like Tunworth and Winslade into our family is super exciting and consistent with our soft cheese strategy,” Matthew Hall, the fourth-generation owner at Butlers, stated.

He acknowledged the quality and reputation that Stacey Hedges and her team have established for Tunworth and Winslade, expressing pride in nurturing these products and serving their loyal customers.

Hampshire Cheese Company’s ownership transition to Butlers is accompanied by the commitment to retain Stacey Hedges and the group’s six employees, who will continue working at the HCC site in Hampshire.

While the financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed, this strategic move reflects Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses’ dedication to driving the British cheese renaissance and bringing a diverse range of high-quality cheeses to a broader audience.

The acquisition, effective immediately, aligns with Butlers’ commitment to bolstering its offering of soft cheeses and positions the company as the largest independent soft cheesemaker in the UK.

Hampshire Cheese Company, founded in 2005 by Stacey Hedges, has gained recognition for its Camembert-style Tunworth and Winslade soft cheese rounds.

Founded in 1932, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses is managed by the fourth generation of the Butlers family. The company’s diverse portfolio includes Ravens Oak soft goat’s cheese, Beacon Blue, Stratford Blue cheese, and hard cheeses like Goosnargh Gold and Parlick.

With an annual turnover of £18.2 million in 2022, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses employs 100 people at its facility in Longridge.

The company markets its products to retailers and foodservice stockists across the UK, holding listings at major retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, and Asda, while also maintaining partnerships with retailers, independents, and hospitality establishments across Europe.

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