Rachel Stephen and her young family moved to Devon in 1979 buying a small farm to go dairy farming. We arrived with 37 cows and a large mortgage!
My life with the world of cheese began when I was offered a part time job. This was helping with the launch of Curworthy Cheese back in 1985 when it was decided by Farmers Weekly to make cheese at Curworthy Farm using the milk produced by the farms cows. I took over the business in 1987 and eventually moved it to our own farm Stockbeare Farm in 1990 so that we could use our own milk. The farm is a 90 acre farm based in the heart of Devon overlooking the Tors of Dartmoor with the ideal weather for growing grass for the dairy herd.
I only use milk from the cows here on the farm and don’t buy any in. The cheese recipe is based on a Gouda style with a distinctive creamy texture but with quite a mature flavour. Devon Oke is our most popular and well known cheese. During my time as cheese maker there has been an influx of farm cheese businesses start directly as a result of the low milk price that farmers are receiving. This has been good news for the consumer and probably the range of cheese now made in this country rivals France!