I want to admit to an obsession, I can’t get enough of small businesses that punch above their weight with gorgeous locally produced products.
There’s something compelling about the way a tiny concern, firmly rooted in its locale can make an impact nationally or even internationally. The key is invariably internet marketing and social media.
The latest example to excite my interest is the Caws cheese farm, located in the lush countryside outside the village of Cenarth in west Wales.
We visited on a recent holiday and found a small farm with cheese making facilities on site. This was nothing like the Wensleydale creamery in the Yorkshire Dales, which is interesting in its own right but much larger and charges for cheese-making tours.
This place was really tiny with a small shop. We looked down through glass onto the cheese- making below where a couple of artisans were scooping curds and whey out of a small vat and sloshing into moulds. It was all being done by hand and reminded us of the vibe you get when trundling along a country lane in France to a farmhouse selling homemade calvados.
The feeling that we had stumbled across it by mistake intensified the magic but the copious cuttings on display told us that both Prince Charles and Keira Knightley had been there before us!
Of course I hadn’t stumbled upon it at all but had been directed there via a link on the website for the holiday cottages we were staying in. This is the power behind Caws. They have got their internet marketing down to a fine art.
We discovered that they own the domain name for Welshorganiccheese – a smart move that they are clearly proud of. Their website is clean and modern, pulling in the crowd who go for organic, local and authentic – that’s me! They have a Facebook fan page with recipes for their delicious cheeses including varieties like wine and leek or sun-dried tomato.
They clearly work hard at their marketing, and reach a wide audience who they sell to via post, but if you happen to go there like we did, you will not find an industrial unit on the outskirts of Swansea but a thriving country concern.