I’ve been multi-tasking like a champion today! I needed to take some snaps of the Coal River Valley region for a client’s Facebook page. My parents are currently in Hobart for a well-earned holiday and I wanted to spend time with them too. So we met for morning tea at Wicked Cheese. Just to add to my list of accomplishments for the day, I’m sharing some of the many, many photos from the outing here.
Wicked Cheese: En Route to Richmond
Wicked Cheese is one from a long list of Tasmanian places I’ve wanted to visit for ages. I do drive past on occasion (en route to Richmond or beyond from Hobart) but the spare time required to investigate had previously been elusive. I would advise you not to make the same mistake… grab the first opportunity that presents itself, and go there!
If you’re a cheese connoisseur, you’ll find the name “wicked” completely appropriate, for sure. Having sampled several varieties made on-site, I’m yet to taste one I wouldn’t recommend. Master cheese-maker (and business owner) Ashley McCoy is truly passionate about his craft and chatted with us over morning tea.
The products have won a wealth of awards, as too has the business. Ashley declared the top two non-negotiable aspects of running a successful enterprise were caring for staff and caring for customers. This ethos has just seen Wicked Cheese claim the Business East Hospitality Service Award for 2013, a fine achievement.
If by chance cheese is not your favourite food, you’ll still appreciate a visit to the Wicked Cheese complex. Light lunches, hot and cold drinks and a selection of delicious cakes (yes, first-hand experience!) are available to diners in the cafe section, with additional picnic tables outside near the lawn, which is complete with totem tennis for the young at heart. There were customers aplenty today, so I’d imagine the place would be really jumping during weekends and holiday season.
Award-Winning Cheese on Show
Ashley kindly took my camera into the cold room to capture some pictures of cheese during the maturation process. While visitors are not permitted in this section for obvious health and hygiene reasons, they can watch the makers at work through a viewing window, with the cheddar cheese maturing room also on show.
The Wicked Cheese Cloth-bound Cheddar was recently awarded Champion Cheddar at the Royal Melbourne Show, another substantial feather in the hat of a proudly Tasmanian company. Wicked Cheese Triple Cream Brie was awarded the Supreme Cheese Champion Trophy at the 2008 Royal Melbourne Show, and I now have a wedge of that very cheese in my possession. I will save it for a special occasion… or maybe I’ll just eat it tonight while I’m watching the news!
As always, we were happy to see the cross-promotion of other Tasmanian business owners, with much of the substantial providore selection from the local region. Ashley stocks only Coal River Valley wines, and has a great range to choose from. Milk and walnuts from Richmond were also clear favourites, with chocolates from Berriedale another popular item with shoppers.
Cheese Tasting and Factory Outlet Sales
As you’d expect at a factory outlet, the range of Wicked Cheese on sale was substantial. Visitors are able to sample many varieties, helping to make the choice easier. I did think the picnic selection was a very clever idea. Several cheeses were combined with complementary items including quince paste, smoked walnuts, pate and crackers… all pre-packed in a convenient box ready to go.
I’ll be taking other visitors along for Wicked Cheese tastings in future, and it will now be a priority to venture inside every time I’m passing the entrance. The whole complex is a quality experience, and there’s little wonder they’re winning awards and proving particularly popular.
At the time of writing, the factory outlet opens seven days from 10:00am to 4:30pm (closed Christmas Day and Good Friday). You’ll find the business at 1238 Richmond Road close to the township of Richmond. For more information visit Wicked Cheese online or phone (03) 6260 2341.
Please note: a Wicked Cheese club is launching soon. Sign up for that opportunity by email.
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