So another of our fabulous independent shops we have here on our high street in Pangbourne is our Chesse shop. Jen and Ali took over Pangbourne Cheese Shop two and a half years ago. They were inspired after having a cheese wedding cake which was bought from Pangbourne Cheese Shop. They visited the shop and the staff let them know that the owners were looking to sell. It was the perfect opportunity and everything came together at the right time. They welcome new and old customers and are always happy to discuss customers needs and ideas.
What do you believe makes your business unique?
There are very few truly independent shops around, let alone cheese mongers. We pride ourselves on having an unrivaled selection of cheeses, all in top notch condition coupled with fantastic customer service.
Describe a typical day?
No day is the same, that's the interesting side of retail. Generally we will open up and prepare the cheese counter for the day. Cheese is our thing so the counter always comes first. Then everything else in the shop gets checked, restocked and reordered if necessary. With customers coming in and out, there's always things to do. Our day doesn't stop when the shop shuts, we go out making deliveries or head home to make a start on the endless paperwork. As well as having two dogs and two teenagers to provide for.
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
The freedom to be able to sell whatever we like. I spend hours each day reading about new cheeses, contacting new suppliers and making sure that the cheese we offer is the best we can get for the right price for our customers. I love the buzz of it all.
What do you love about our local area?
Pangbourne is a special place. Everyone looks out for everyone else. We know our customers by name and we chat to them about all sorts of things. The village is so friendly and we love being part of the community.
I was a physiotherapist before we bought the shop, Ali still works part time as a netball coach. We both like to be active and we spend as much time outside as we can when we're not in the shop.