New-look Cheese Society shop and cafe reopens in Lincoln

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The Cheese Society has reopened on St Martin’s Lane in Lincoln after a redevelopment of the cafe and the closure of its shop on The Strait.

An investment of £50,000 has seen the former cafe turned into a dual shop and kitchen, catering for the business’ growing mail order and in-store retail demand.

The lease on the Cheese Society’s shop on The Strait expired in mid April. This combined with the limited space at the shop led owners redesigning their existing St Martin’s Lane cafe.

Business owner Kate O’Meara said although they were unable to find an affordable, central space for a new cafe, they have been able to accommodate a small number of tables within the new-look shop, and says further expansion is always on the horizon.

The Cheese Society on St Martin’s Lane had been closed for the refurbishment since April 2, and reopened on the morning of Tuesday, April 19 to new and old customers.

In store is an extensive range of local cheeses, breads and snacks as well as specialist cheeses from around the country.

From the cafe menu, customers can still enjoy dishes like baked Camembert, Macaroni cheese and cheese board, while they’re served a selection of samples from the counter.

Business owner Kate O'Meara. Photo: Emily Norton for The Lincolnite

Business owner Kate O’Meara. Photo: Emily Norton for The Lincolnite

Kate said: “The location on The Strait was just too small. When the lease expired we’d have loved to have opened a new cafe. To be honest we struggled to find anything else that was affordable.

“The business was founded in 1997, right at the inception of the internet. My original idea was just to sell cheese by mail order and not have a shop. Then an opportunity came to by the first section of the building, which I have since converted and expanded.

“Despite the fact we were a little bit off the High Street the cafe really took off very well. We are now selling cheese over the country and we are looking at selling across Europe.

“I know some want to come out of Europe but we want to go in!

“Unfortunately the move has meant we’ve lost a few members of staff. But I suppose there is always scope for expansion if we can find somewhere. We never sit still.”