Have you met? Godsells Artisan Cheeses

Bryan and Liz Godsell give us the ‘Village Gossip’ on their award-winning cheeses…

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How did Godsell’s come about?

Godsell’s Cheese came about due to the low milk price in 2000. Many dairy farmers decided to get out of dairying as they were loosing money and making no profit. We decided to try and add value. Liz, a self-confessed cheeseaholic, went on a dairy processing course at Cannington College to learn what could be done with milk. We converted an old low shed on the farm to the Cheese Room. We were so focused on making cheese we did not consider what if it doesn’t work?

How may cows do you have/what breeds?

Although we have been making cheese for 16 years we had an opportunity to start a new herd of cows five years ago, and we were very keen for our cows to graze grass. Our cows are cross breeds, we have Friesian, Ayrshire, Shorthorn, Normandies, M.R.I.’s and Gloucesters. We have 190 cows in the herd.

What makes your cheese special?

Our cheese is made in Gloucestershire, using milk from our own cows that graze grass. It is hand made: everyone who makes cheese with us is very fit as it is a physical operation, and most people who come to watch end up helping but cannot keep up! Our cheeses are unique and one of our strengths is improvising. We have recently joined the Free Range Milk Group along with eight other milk producers in the South West who are committed to grazing their cows on grass. Most people assume all cows graze grass but we promise to graze our cows for 180 days producing wholesome milk rich in vitamin C and omega 3.

What is your best selling cheese?

All of our cheeses are best sellers. We do a variety to try and cover a wide choice. Most of our cheeses are hard cheeses but we have been making Loaf Mozzarella for the last two years for one customer, The Priory at Tetbury. Their strap line is 90% of their food comes from a 30-mile radius. They are great supporters of Stroud Farmers Market and come in every week. We make Single Gloucester most, as we also smoke it (ourselves over beech ) to create Holy Smoked; we age it to create Singing Granny and Le Pong (limited edition) and we add flavours to create Cockadilli Chilli, Village Gossip (with chives), and Uley Tump (with spring onion).

What awards have you won recently?

Last year we won Best Cotswold Cheese in the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards and this year 1st and 2nd for our Single and Double at The Three Counties Show and same again at Berkeley Show. Although this is a new category at Berkeley Show, we were particularly thrilled as my Great Grandmother won 1st prize for one of her farmhouse cheeses. I even have her certificate framed!

What is your favourite cheese/ which cheese are you most proud of?

My favourite cheese is Single Gloucester and Three Virgins (a Cheshire style cheese). I like a mild, sharp cheese. Both are delicious with a thick-set honey.

Which cheese should customers try next?

As its apple time and you may be able to get a Russet apple, try it with our Double Gloucester and a glass of cider!