The Appleby family are the only remaining producers of real calico bound traditional farm Cheshire cheese; made from their own unpasteurised milk and then matured on the farm.
Lance and Lucy Appleby both grew up on farms. Lucy Appleby was a farmer’s daughter and grew up on Lighteach Farm in Shropshire. Lucy had 5 sisters and 2 brothers, who all helped on the farm. Lucy Appleby learnt her cheesemaking craft at Reaseheath College.
Lance Appleby was born in Cheshire and grew up on a farm. He left school at the age of 13 and drove the horses, laden with cheese, to Whitchurch cheese fair.
Lance and Lucy Appleby were married in 1940, they spent their early married years living near Malpas. In 1942 Lance and Lucy Appleby moved to Hawkstone Abbey Farm. 10 years later they converted the stables at Hawkstone Abbey Farm for cheesemaking; this is when the cheesemaking business officially started.
Both Lance and Lucy Appleby were awarded MBE’s for their services to cheesemaking in Shropshire, in 2001.
The success of Lance and Lucy Appleby was built on by the second generation, Edward and Christine Appleby. They resisted the pressure from the Milk Marketing Board to wax their cheese for sale to the supermarkets. The Appleby’s continued to produce traditional unpasteurised cheese with their own milk which was calico bound.
Christine and Edward Appleby created their own direct market place for their cheese in 1982, so that they were able to end their contract with The Milk Marketing Board. They purchased a Land Rover so that they could visit Cheese sellers in London including Neal's Yard Dairy, Antony Rowcliffe and Paxton & Whitfield.
The third generation of Appleby’s, Paul, his wife Sarah and their four young children are involved in the business.
The Appleby’s work closely as a family to produce, sell and support Appleby’s Cheshire, Appleby’s Double Gloucester and Appleby’s Smoked.