Ivy’s Story

Ivy’s Reserve is named after Ivy Clothier, our grandmother, who perfected the recipe around 1930. Using milk from the herds tended by her husband Tom just a stones throw from the Somerset village of Cheddar, she fine-tuned a method of making vintage Cheddar that’s won us countless awards over the years.

Her parents, the Thorns, had been making cheese nearby since the 18th Century but Ivy brought her own talents to the process. A formidable woman who was known to all for her warmth, tireless hard work and community spirit, she ensured that everything she undertook was done properly, from sweeping the floor to her tasks in the dairy.

She was also an exceptional cook, a gift she brought to her cheesemaking. With the advantage of exceptional Somerset milk, produced by cows grazing on the lushest grass in the country, she refined and improved her family recipe, in the process pioneering what would become cheese technology.

The result was an exceptional vintage Cheddar, aged for up to 18 months under wood to bring out an unmatched flavour profile: slightly sweet, nutty and rounded with that all-important tang in the roof of the mouth. With this came her farmhouse butter, made with just the same combination of instinct and rigour, and churned extra-slow to produce smoothness with a lovely clean finish.

These days there are a few more of us in the dairy but Ivy’s Reserve hasn’t changed, made by the Clothier family in just the same way following Ivy’s recipes, which are now kept safely under lock and key. Her legacy lives on in everything we do, from caring for the farm and animals to ensuring that only the best of the best is good enough to go out under her name. We like to think that Ivy would be proud of what we’re doing.

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