Hidden away in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, near the market town of Nantwich, lies the Joseph Heler family dairy on Laurels Farm. It is here that our team of expert cheese makers produce classic British regional cheese to time-honoured recipes.
Our story dates back over a century, when Joseph Heler’s grandmother started the family tradition by making one whole Cheshire cheese every day in the family’s farmhouse – Laurels Farm – using her own special recipe.
This cheesemaking expertise was passed down through the generations to Joseph Heler himself, who developed a passion that was never to leave him. In 1957 this led to him founding his own company – Joseph Heler Cheese.
Years in the making
Joining the Farmhouse Cheese Makers Scheme, Joseph Heler began making 40lb rounds of unpasteurised Cheshire cheese and quickly gained a reputation for consistently high quality products. Just three years later in 1960 this quality was recognised as the company won 8 Championships in national cheese shows.
Success continued and Joseph Heler Cheese developed as a business through the 60’s, making a pioneering move to produce Cheshire cheese in 20kg blocks during the 70’s, and in 1983, in line with changes in the industry, began making pasteurised cheese.
It was in 1986 that ambitions to take the business further led to Joseph Heler Cheese moving to sell cheese independently, and within 5 years the company had expanded to begin producing different varieties of traditional regional cheese, such as Red Leicester and Double Gloucester. These were made to bespoke recipes using the same techniques to ensure the products had the trademark Heler qualities running throughout.
Through the 1990’s and through the turn of the century, Joseph Heler Cheese continued to establish itself as one of the country’s most respected producers of British cheese. The company has successfully grown through a combination of its traditional values and innovation, entering new markets & expanding its range of products. In 2001 the business gained recognition in the shape of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for work developing the very first low-fat cheese, and in 2007 it celebrated the landmark of its 50 year anniversary.
The present day sees the company still located at the dairy on Laurels Farm – still home to the same old farmhouse that was where Joseph Heler’s grandmother began the story over a century ago. We remain an independent family business under the guidance of Mike & George Heler, son & grandson of Joseph Heler.
Although we have grown over the years as a company from our roots as a small farmhouse dairy, we are proud to say we still hold & protect the same values, traditions and cheese making principles that have served us so well through the ages.
We still produce all our cheese by hand, on open tables in our traditional cheese rooms. We still use only the finest local milk to make the cheese, sourced from specially selected dairy farms. And we still treat each individual block of cheese we make with the same care and attention as when the Heler family’s cheese making tradition began over a century ago.