Butchers’ Saturday girl ended up with a market stall of her own

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Owner Paula Taylor, right, with assistant Gemma Whitham.Pictu

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Owner Paula Taylor, right, with assistant Gemma Whitham.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

She has spent her life on the market and seen many changes over the years.

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

But Paula Taylor, who owns the Cheeseman stall on Norwich market thinks there are still plenty of reasons for shoppers to explore under the colourful roofs.

As part of the Evening News' Get Behind Your Market campaign, we spoke to Mrs Taylor about her stall's history and why the market deserves support.

'I've owned this stall for nearly 16 years, but I worked on here for four years before that,' said Mrs Taylor, who took over from Alan Trower in 2001.

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Mr Trower had started the stall on Great Yamouth market, before moving over to the city.

'But I've always been a market girl,' she said.

'My uncle had John's Butchers on here and I was a Saturday girl and then worked there.'

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

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So when Mr Trower became ill, and his children did not want to take over the stall, Mrs Taylor saw it as an opportunity for the business to thrive.

'I'd been on the market all my life and I wanted to improve my life, I love the atmosphere here and the people.

'I knew I could make a go of it and it was in me to run it.'

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Now, the stall sells more than 140 different varieties of cheese and Mrs Taylor is an expert on the product.

And running the business has truly been a family endeavour, as both Mrs Taylor's daughters had worked on the stall.

But Mrs Taylor, who lives in Hellesdon, said people's tastes had changed over the years, and they were now more likely to branch out into different flavours.

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

'People try different things. They come back from their holidays and have tried something and we always try to get it for them.

'We know what we're talking about. We can tell people if the cheese is pasteurised, or if it's local, or what goes with a particular wine.'

She said she had even advised on cheese cakes – and not the ones with a biscuit base – which some people have for their weddings.

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

'I think people should come to the market because of the variety of goods,' she added.

'It's mostly families on here and we can point people in the right direction, it's such a nice, family atmosphere.'

Tweet @EveningNews with the hashtag #NorwichMarket, or visit the Norwich Evening News Facebook page, to tell us why you love the market and send us your photos.

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

• Do you have an interesting memories of Norwich market? Email geraldine.scott@archant.co.uk

Why the market matters

Mrs Taylor pointed not only to the variety of produce and stock on the market as a draw, but also the help and advice expert stallholders who knew their trade well.

Alan Trower, known as the cheese man on Norwich market in 1995

Alan Trower, known as the cheese man on Norwich market in 1995 - Credit: Archant

'We sell cheeses from all over the world,' said Mrs Taylor.

'What we have on the supermarkets is when people come to me I try to source it if I haven't got it.

'You get your regulars and you get to know their palettes.

Alan Trower with Paula Taylor, who is taking over his cheese stall on Norwich market.Photo: Bill Smi

Alan Trower with Paula Taylor, who is taking over his cheese stall on Norwich market.Photo: Bill SmithCopy: Helen Ashworth edp 13/8/01 - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

'You know them by name and you see their children grow up and come to the stall.'

The 48-year-old said she had seen children in pushchairs with their mothers come to the stall.

But years later she would serve them when they were grown up with their own children.

One regular, 88-year-old Eileen, said she went to the stall for the friendly service.

'I've got to know this lady and we have a laugh.

'I can almost always get all the cheeses I want.'

Four top picks from the stall's wide selection

Mrs Taylor picked four of her favourite cheeses to showcase the variety available on her stall.

Her first choice was the Vacherin Mont d'Or. At £8.95 this cheese can be baked in the oven.

'But it's only available for five months of the year,' said Mrs Taylor. 'At Christmas time it's a must have on your cheeseboard, it's like a ready-made fondue.'

She also picked out two Norfolk cheeses, the Ellingham Norfolk Goat's Cheese, a soft, feta-type goats cheese at £3.

And Mrs Temple's Binham Blue, which costs £21.98 per kg and is a soft blue veined cheese.

Mrs Taylor said: 'The Ellingham is perfect crumbled on salads and Mrs Temple's is a medium strong cheese.'

But her strangest cheese was a Norwegian Gjetost, a goat's cheese which tasted like caramel, at £14.98 per kg.

'I think people like the weird things too,' Mrs Taylor said. 'It's really nice melted on waffles.'

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