Two cheesemakers have realised their dream of returning traditional Peak District-made Blue Stilton cheese to the food shelves.
Production of the cheese locally ceased with the closure of the former Dairy Crest-owned creamery in Hartington in 2009.
Since then, a new, smaller dairy has been set up in the parish by two former employees, and after going through rigorous inspection procedures the dairy was granted a licence to use the Stilton name.
The first production batches of Hartington Creamery’s Blue Stilton are now available - initially only from the Hartington Cheese Shop in Hartington and The Cheese Factor in Chesterfield.
Adrian Cartlidge, Director of the Hartington Creamery, said: “We have achieved our primary goal of returning Stilton production to Derbyshire after a lapse of five years.
“We would like to thank our friends and families for their fantastic support and encouragement. Looking forward, we will be focused on fully meeting our customers’ requirements, and as we get more experience, looking to develop and grow the business.”
The creamery underwent numerous inspections over an 18-month period in order to be able to use the name Blue Stilton, in addition to White Stilton.
Nigel White, Secretary of the Stilton Cheese Makers’ Association, added: “We are delighted to welcome Hartington Creamery as the sixth dairy licensed to use the name Blue Stilton.”