A cheese company based in Herriard, near Alton, has been acquired by fourth-generation family cheesemakers Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses.

Hampshire Cheese Company, a multi award-winning artisan cheesemaker, was founded in 2005 by Stacey Hedges.

It has amassed a legion of fans, in particular for Tunworth and Winslade – two expertly handcrafted, continental-style soft cheeses that are revered among some of the UK’s leading chefs, Michelin-starred restaurants and premium independent retailers. 

These much-loved cheeses also brought it to the attention of Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses in rural Lancashire, which has invested significantly in its soft cheese capacity in the last two years.

Butlers is now the largest independent soft cheesemaker in the UK.

Stacey Hedges said: “This is an exciting next step in the journey of Tunworth and Winslade. As part of the Butlers Farmhouse Cheese family, I am confident that our cheeses will be able to reach even more people. I am so proud of what we have achieved as a team in the last 20 years.”

Matthew Hall, fourth-generation owner at Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses added: “The quality and reputation that Stacey and her team have established for Tunworth and Winslade is something we will be proud to nurture with their loyal customers.

“Over the years, Stacey has shared our mission to drive the British cheese renaissance in the UK and we are privileged to bring Tunworth and Winslade into our family, continue on that journey and get more of the amazing cheeses being made in Britain, to more people.”

Butlers’ ownership of Hampshire Cheese Company is effective immediately.