Cryer & Stott, a family run Yorkshire cheese wholesaler reach their 25th Anniversary this May.
Back in 1998, Richard Holmes opened his first cheese retail shop in Wakefield Market with his wife Clare where they sold cheese, meat, and eggs. Richard followed in his grandfather’s, great uncle’s and great grandfather’s retail footsteps who were butchers in West Yorkshire.
In 1999 Richard produced the world’s very first rhubarb cheese (straight from the heart of the Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle). They named it Ruby Gold; a semi-soft ewe’s milk cheese with tangy, sweet rhubarb nestled in the cheese. Ruby Gold went on to win numerous awards for innovation, flavour, and texture.
Fast forward to the noughties, when Richard and Clare opened two Cryer & Stott retail shops in Castleford and Pontefract, plus a wholesale business. The noughties also brought a number of hospitality clients to their door including Doncaster Racecourse, which in turn gave Richard the opportunity to be adventurous with cheese and produce the St Leger Cheeseboard.
Into the 2010’s Richard and Clare opened The Urban Food Hall in West Yorkshire village Allerton Bywater, called Samuel Valentine, which was named after their children. They then supplied 12-tonnes of cheese to the London Olympics in 2012, giving Cryer & Stott their biggest order of cheese for one single event. Two new cheeses were produced for the London Olympics, Rhuby Crumble and Legacy. Cryer & Stott were also named Wholesaler of the Year 2012.
The Tour de France was announced for 2014, and Richard and Jemma Ladwitch from Cryer & Stott toured France in a project named The Grand Fromage Depart. The pair swapped Yorkshire cheese for French cheese with small artisan producers across the country. The British Embassy heard about the tour and the duo were invited to showcase a Yorkshire Cheese Stack in Paris at the British Embassy. The Ambassador was so inspired by Cryer & Stott he asked them to return and create a special cheese for a state visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
A soft peppery blue cheese was then produced and named The Duke of Wellington. The cheese was showcased to Her Majesty by Richard, Clare & Jemma & enjoyed by HRH on four separate occasions that week. The Duke of Wellington went on to win both Gold and Silver at The World Cheese Awards in 2016; and in 2017 the cheese was officially launched at The Houses of Parliament in London.
Moving into 2018 and HRH Princess Anne visited Samuel Valentine, The Urban Food Hall, after the lord lieutenant put Cryer & Stott forward for a royal visit to thank them for services to the Yorkshire food industry. Cryer & Stott created a cheese named Royal Thursday. Richard also won another award in 2018, CEO of The Year. Moreover, Cryer & Stott won Wholesaler of the Year with deliciouslyorkshire®, and they were invited to Her Majesty the Queen’s Garden Party.
Cryer & Stott were awarded with both a Gold and Silver at the World Cheese Awards in 2018 for their new cheese launch – Endeavour; a double cream cow’s milk cheese, washed in Masons Yorkshire Tea Gin.
A new vegetarian cheese called Ewe Beauty was launched in 2019, which won Supreme Champion at the Great Yorkshire Show. Another huge success for Richard, Clare and Cryer & Stott as this was their first vegetarian rennet pecorino style cheese.
On the back of this, Richard climbed Mount Everest to raise money for a charity close to his heart. This is where he performed the World’s Highest Cheese Tasting!
Fast forward through the pandemic, and Cryer & Stott now looks slightly different. The two retail cheesemongers are run by Richard’s brother Stuart as franchise businesses, and Samuel Valentine is run by a French chef under licence.
2022 saw Richard give back to Yorkshire’s food scene by becoming a board member of deliciouslyorkshire®. In this role he volunteers his time to help food producers and businesses wanting to highlight Yorkshire food.
The most exciting news for 2023 is that Richard has been awarded an MBE for Services to the British Food Industry. Furthermore, Cryer & Stott have produced a bespoke cheese for the Coronation of The King. This cheese is called King Charles III and is made with Cheddar, black truffle, and the King’s favourite mushrooms.
The official 25th Anniversary of Cryer & Stott, takes place on 13th May, just after the Coronation.