Steve is a good, long time friend of ours and sadly is not very well. His illness is forcing the sale of his beautiful goats and cheese making business. If anyone out there is interested, you can contact the agent on 01756 692900.
Reluctant to give up the goats
1:00pm Saturday 9th November 2013
A goats cheese business has been a labour of love for Steve Akrigg. Set up ten years ago, his brand has gone from strength to strength. But now a serious illness is forcing him to reluctantly sell up
A well-known and established North Yorkshire-based goats cheese brand, together with the entire herd of goats, plus all the equipment needed to milk them and produce the cheese, is on the market.
Steve Akrigg, who established Yellison Farm Goats ten years ago in Carleton, near Skipton, and started producing his own cheese two years later, is reluctantly selling both the brand and the business because of a serious illness.
“To say it is an extremely reluctant sale is a true understatement. I have successfully built the business up over the last decade. Our cheese is now sold nationally, is used by household name chefs and has won awards.
While both the goat herd and cheese-making business continues to be maintained and run by Steve’s 24-year-old son Jonathan, potential buyers – possibly existing cheese producers who may wish to add a new string to their bow or entrepreneurs seeking a brand-new lifestyle – would need to dismantle and relocate it lock, stock and barrel from Yellison Farm.
The business comprises a 138-strong herd of mixed breed goats with an Anglo Nubian influence – their milk is renowned in cheese-making circles – with 74 goats currently in milk, 26 in kid for the first time, 30 females around seven to eight-months-old and two billies.
The entire milking parlour, including 12 six-point milking stations and all ancillary equipment, comes as part of the deal, as do the total contents of the dairy and cheese production unit, incorporating a pasteuriser, refrigerated bulk tank, cheese vat, fridges and freezers – including a large standalone walk-in fridge unit – and work tables.
Yellison Farm Goats Cheese – Steve estimates that he has invested around £100,000 in the business over the past ten years – produces two types of goats cheese.
The first is a light and creamy log in two sizes and the second a potted Crowdie, a soft spreadable cheese made to a Scottish recipe.
Both have won awards at the Great Yorkshire Show.
Goat cheese curds are also in demand, notably by chefs who, according to Steve, “like to do their own thing.”
Production and turnover have increased year on year. Milk output is currently around 400 litres per week, with two weekly cheese runs producing some 120kg of product, which, depending on type, sells at £14.66 to £18 per kilo.
The business has customers across the UK, among them wholesalers, retailers and restaurants. High profile Michelin-starred chefs such as Rick Stein, Nigel Haworth and Michael Caines have all used Yellison Farm Goats Cheese.
One local retailer is multi award-winning Keelham Farm Shop in Thornton, Bradford, which has just been voted the UK’s Best Independent Retailer in the 2013 Observer Food Monthly awards.
“We remain fully committed to supporting passionate local producers and Yellison’s certainly fits that bill. Their cheeses are among the most popular buys in our deli,” said Victoria Robertshaw, of Keelham, which remains on track to open its second farm shop in Skipton next year.
Steve, who has featured prominently on The Dales programme on ITV, fronted by Ade Edmondson, and is himself well-known in local entertainment circles with his established group Custers Last Band said: “While I am devastated to be forced to sell the business, it remains extremely viable. We have built up a good name and an excellent reputation for both the quality and taste of our cheeses.
“There is enormous potential to increase production capacity, to develop and expand cheese types and ranges, and even diversify into ice cream-making – that was going to be my next step – and beauty products such as soaps and shampoos, which all use goats milk.
“Potential buyers don’t need a lot of land and buildings and my son Jonathan would be ready, willing and able to show them the ropes.”
The guide price for both the brand and the business – for further details visit http://www.yellisonfarmgoatscheese.co.uk – is £60,000. The sale is being handled by the rural property division of Windle Beech Winthrop, based at Skipton Auction Mart. The contact is Chris Windle on 01756 692900.
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