Business owner to produce 1.5m Mars bars in weight of goats' cheese with new tourist venture
PUBLISHED: 11:58 16 August 2019 | UPDATED: 21:31 18 August 2019
A Norfolk farmer is set to make the equivalent of 1.5 million Mars bars in goats cheese - his best year ever after launching a new holiday business.
Sam Steggles, of Fielding Cottage, Honingham, near Norwich, has had such success with courses that teach people to make goats' cheese he is set to increase his production from 10 tonnes last year to between 80-100 tonnes all in his purpose-built factory on site.
But what has aided in the success of the hands-on cheese courses is the fact he bolts on a mini-break, with people able to stay in one of his rural barn-style cottages on site. And he has already attracted visitors from across the UK.
He said: "Experiential tourism has taken off in the last few years and combining a mini-break with learning a new skill is something people want to do. We find families and couples are enjoying our goats' cheese-making courses and combining this with a holiday in Norfolk."
Fielding Cottage, a Future50 business, has grown at a fast pace from its first experimental goats' cheese produced a decade ago from a herd of 10 goats. Sam started as a farmer, with an interest in the industry aged just 12, and developed his business into the goats' cheese production and goats' milk skin care, winning several awards, particularly for the Norfolk Mardler and Wensum White cheeses.
He's also now offering the purpose-built luxury cottages 'The Nest', 'Kingfisher' and 'Nightingale' as overnight accommodation. The course itself takes place in the factory; you don hair nets and protective clothing and are guided through the science and processes of chese and at the end, enjoy the results by eating Fielding Cottage cheese and crackers.
It offers cheese-making courses to businesses too. "We have found businesses get a lot out of our courses, offering a like-no-other team bonding experience, as well as the potential to develop a new skill other than something computer-based. We have already had many enquiries for Christmas party networking events."
The standard courses are for a maximum of 16 people and ticket prices are £80 each, with dates available until May next year.