Cheshire young farmer wants new dairy business to become the ‘cream of the crop’

Henry Cooke says Clotton Hall Dairy will be the first clotted cream producer in Cheshire – and one of the first outside Devon and Cornwall

Fledgling Tarporley firm has been supported by Reaseheath College

 

A Chester young farmer has vowed to show off the very best of Cheshire produce after support from Reaseheath College helped him launch the first clotted cream to be produced in the county.

 

Henry Cooke, 23, wants his cream to rival famed products from Cornwall and Devon after setting up Clotton Hall Dairy on his parents’ farm, near Tarporley, Cheshire.

 

Inspired by his time at agricultural college in Shropshire, Henry launched the new business over concerns he might struggle to make a living working on the farm.

 

And after taking business and marketing masterclasses run by Reaseheath College’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded SME Business Growth Programme, he says he’s now ready to show off his cream to the world.

 

“Almost all of the clotted cream in the country comes from Cornwall or Devon and we want to challenge that,” Henry said. “We’ve seen a gap in the market here in the north west and we think that we can produce a product that can compete.

 

“We want to supply the whole of Cheshire and the North West with clotted cream and really show off the quality produce that we have here. We have a herd of 200 Jersey, Danish Red and Holstein Friesian cows on the farm and it’s that mix of breeds and variety in the milk that makes our cream so special.

 

“Our cream is also going to be much fresher than cream that’s coming from the south and that’s going to be a big selling point for us.

 

“We’re incredibly excited about the launch of Clotton Hall Dairy. So much work has gone into reaching this point but we couldn’t have got here without the support of the team at Reaseheath.

 

“The support they have given us has been so valuable. It was a fantastic chance for us to ask questions and get advice from people who have been there and done it when it comes to setting up businesses.”

 

Clotton Hall Dairy has also been able to test its products at Reaseheath’s industry-leading food centre ahead of the business launch.

 

Janet Nuzum, ERDF Business Advisor at Reaseheath, said: “There’s nothing more satisfying for us than to see a young entrepreneur take their big idea and turn it into a real business.

 

“What Henry has achieved is fantastic and we’re delighted to have had the chance to support him and help launch Clotton Hall Dairy.

 

“Farming is an incredibly competitive industry, and as Henry knows only too well, farmers are dealing with enormous challenges and external pressures. It’s brilliant to see a young farmer working so hard to diversify a farm’s offering like this and I’m sure he and his business have a bright future.”

 

Henry is now targeting farm shops across the north west as well as local restaurants – and he says he won’t stop at just clotted cream.

 

“I have big plans for this business because I really believe in what we’re trying to do. I want to grow it as big as possible and go international if feasible. Clotted cream is so typically British that we think there’s huge potential to take it to the US.

 

“We’ve also got plans to go into things like soft cheese and butter but we’re conscious that we need to grow the business in a sustainable way and not try and move too fast.”

 

To find out more about Clotton Hall Dairy, visit www.clottonhalldairy.co.uk and for more information on Reaseheath’s SME Business Growth Programme, visit http://www.reaseheath.ac.uk/businesses/.

 

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