Foodie Fiona Redwood is offering customers at her Marchmont shop a whole new approach to buying cheese – and it appears to be giving Wedge the edge.
In her own homage to fromage, she is keen to introduce us to a growing range of British cheeses that are every bit as tasty – if sometimes as smelly – as their European cousins.
She also wants to unravel some of the myths and mysteries that may prevent the less intrepid cheese buyer from venturing beyond Cheddar and Stilton.
Rather than taking on the Capital’s well-established specialist cheesemongers, she believes Wedge will appeal to shoppers who might otherwise buy their cheese in a supermarket.
Fiona, who opened the shop in November, says: “The whole idea behind Wedge was to create a more casual and updated method of buying artisan cheese. There’s something about going into a small shop to buy a speciality product that can feel intimidating and I wanted to take that away.
“We wanted to take a 21st-century approach to buying cheese, making it more user-friendly, in the same way that buying coffee has changed in the past few years.
“As a cheese lover who has been in lots of different cheese shops, I know it can feel overwhelming to be confronted by so many different cheeses and then you feel pressure to make a decision when you don’t know what you want.”
To simplify the process, Wedge has created a system of cheese kits, catering for everything from a night in for two or a dinner party for ten.
“For two people we offer 100g each of any soft cheese, any blue cheese and any hard cheese, with any biscuits, oatcakes or crackers and any chutney,” Fiona explains.
“For a dinner party it’s the same formula, adapted to the number we are catering for, and everything is weight based. The customer has complete control and all the options are laid out on a plate.”
A visit to Wedge, on the corner of Marchmont Road and Spottiswoode Road, starts with an invitation to sample and savour. “I like to ask people what they normally go for and then get them to taste as many as possible to see what they like. It’s all about personal preference. I have nothing against cheese pairing, but it’s not essential.
“Sometimes good cheese is just good cheese and you can have it with whatever you like, without a song and dance. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying it just because it’s tasty.”
Fiona offers a range of between 30 to 40 cheeses, the majority from the UK and Ireland. “Someone might come in for Manchego, which I don’t have, and go home with something that is British and similar, which they didn’t expect to find.
“I’m not doing down European cheese, but we have some amazing cheeses in the UK that we are not showcasing enough,” she says.
“This is a wonderful time when people are caring about where they shop and where their food comes from. There is growing support for independent shops and local producers.”
Wedge, 100 Marchmont Road, 07793 842031. Open, Tues-Sat 10am to 6pm; Sun, 10am to 5pm.