Allet Dairy is owned by Stephen and Mary-Ellen Hughes with their two children Caitlin and Kieren.
Allet is a little hamlet that lies between the City of Truro and the A30.
Allet Dairy Goats, as it was called then, began in 2001. It had been a dream of Stephen’s ever since he was 12 when he bought his first goat.
In 2005 they began making cheese. Their first one was a soft cheese called Chybucca and they progressed onto a hard cheese, St. Allen. This cheese went on to win a Bronze Award at the World Cheese Championships in 2010. They went from strength to strength and began making Kenwyn fingals, Fourburrow Fiesta, Bosvean, Bishop’s Polmesk and Allet. All the cheeses are named after little hamlets around Allet and could be found at the various Farmer’s Markets and Food Festivals including Helston, Lostwithial, Bodmin, St.Ives etc.
It was very busy and hectic and Stephen was finding it increasingly difficult to look after the goats and make the cheese especially as Caitlin and Kieren were still at school and Mary-Ellen worked at the Maternity Unit at Treliske.
An offer from Arla came to supply them with as much milk as they could produce so he decided to give up making the cheese and concentrate on the goats and supplying milk. Cheese production ceased in 2015.
The milk from the goats was then being supplied to Arla and the herd increased to supply more milk. Caitlin by this time had finished school, completed her Agriculture Course at Duchy College and was working on the farm so Stephen decided to hand the reins over to her.
However Arla decided to “pull the plug” on all the goat producers eight in total and ceased buying goats milk in 2019.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and it would have been best if Stephen had stayed making the cheese but he thought he was doing the right thing. There was nothing to do but to sell their beloved goats who they had worked so hard to breed and rear on. There was nowhere for the milk to go as all the cheese making equipment had been sold to increase the herd.
It was an absolutely devastating time for them all. Stephen and Caitlin had to find work off the farm but having the sheds standing empty proved too hard to bear and so for Caitlin’s 21st birthday 14 goats arrived. Stephen has worked tirelessly to rebuild the milking parlour so that milk production could start again. Caitlin has also added some Zwartbles sheep to the farm and is milking them too. She has some great ideas and her dream is to get back to making their delicious cheeses again that was enjoyed by so many people and this is where you can play a part.
With your help and support we need to be able to get the cheese rooms completed. The buildings are still there but they need to be updated to the latest EHO standards which includes recladding the walls, resurfacing the floors, pasteuriser upgrade and electrics and plumbing. Once this has all been completed we can apply for accreditation and begin cheese production again.
We are hoping that you will be able to help us with this and are looking to raise £10,000. This is a very big ask but anything you can give will help us towards achieving our goal and we would be so grateful.
Everyone who donates will receive a personalised thank you.
For a pledge of £100 you will receive a gift of cheese.
For a pledge of £250 and upwards you will receive a hamper of Cornish Cheeses.
Of course our own cheese will be included in these so please be patient whilst we go through the process of accreditation which can take a little while but you will get your cheeses.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story, look at the photographs and make a pledge.
In the video you will see me Wendy ( Stephen’s sister ) you may recognise me from the Farmer’s Markets as I used to sell all the cheeses there.
We look forward to sharing our news and will keep you all informed at how we are progressing.
From Everyone at Allet Dairy