Cheesemonger Adam Verlander is bringing expertly selected British and Irish cheeses to a new shop in Oxford city centre.

This autumn, Jericho Cheese Company will open the doors of its new, more centrally located shop on Ship Street, in part of the former Russell & Bromley shoe shop unit.

The city’s foodies have been visiting Mr Verlander’s cheese shop in Little Clarendon Street for the past five years.

Opening a second site in the centre of the city felt like the right move – for him, and for the British cheesemakers whose produce he sells.

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Mr Verlander said: “We had actually started looking for a second site before Covid-19 hit.

“We were growing up, we had established ourselves.

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“ It seemed logical to investigate the idea of something more central, though at the back of the mind I thought I’d never be able to afford rent or rates on places in the centre of town.

“It was a pleasant surprise to find that landlord Jesus College was also reviewing its retail strategy in the city centre, ahead of the opening of its new Northgate development later this year; a strategy which included exploring the opportunities for splitting a large Ship Street retail unit into smaller units that could open up the potential market to small-scale, independent stores, leading to a greater variety of retail uses in Ship Street.”

Mr Verlander added: “A small company like ours couldn’t have afforded – and didn’t need – a large unit. By making the space smaller it has automatically made it more affordable and manageable.

“Ship Street is a small lane, but it’s just off Cornmarket, so it’s very close to people working, visiting and so on, who might be minded to buy some quality food.”

Ship Street is no stranger to quality food.

Many will know it as the home of one of Oxford’s finest restaurants, No.1 Ship Street.

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And Tse noodle bar now occupies the unit where Heroes deli served students for many years.

Mr Verlander said: “Jericho Cheese Company will be the first of many such businesses to arrive on this little street.

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“Together with our landlords Jesus College, we want to help create a new food hub on Ship Street and turn it into something with life and vitality.

“There are loads of producers and retailers who could fill that gap and generate something that people can get really excited about.”

Before setting out on his own, Mr Verlander worked at Neal’s Yard Dairy for many years, with Jason Hinds.

Mr Hinds and his team have since been instrumental in helping him develop and expand Jericho Cheese Company.

Mr Hinds said: “The advantage of cheese is that, like meat, fish and bread it is a staple; a food for which there will be regularly high demand.”