This week we spoke to Mathew & Tayler, owners of The Cheese Bar, London. Known for their championing of British produce and promoting their brand through immersive events, we had to learn more from these innovative cheese connoisseurs.

Can you tell us about the work you do at The Cheese Bar?

We believe that food tastes better when it’s made for love, not just for money. We want to informally educate people about where there food comes from, and the people who dedicate their lives to making it – and we do this by championing British cheese.

We offer a cheese-focused menu, combining our famous grilled cheese sandwiches and comfort food classics with inventive small plates and sharing dishes. All dishes use the best British cheeses on the market, many of which are made within the M25 itself!

What’s your favourite thing about being an independent retailer?

Supporting other small businesses and producers, and being able to showcase their products to a wider audience.

What’s the biggest challenge facing the high street today?

Rising rates is definitely an issue that both restaurants and other small businesses alike are facing.

What is the biggest issue facing independent business owners today that you feel is not being spoken about, or addressed properly?

In the restaurant industry, many businesses are facing new challenges since the referendum. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit is manifesting as issues such as finding reliable labour, rising ingredient costs and potentially a drop in tourism, which could have a knock-on effect on footfall.

How do you think we can attract more footfall to local high streets?

By cultivating smaller, independent businesses that bring something unique to the high street – not just having the same shops in every town and city.

What is the best bit of advice you could give to someone who is looking to start their first independent retail business?

Refine your concept, and make sure you have a clear USP – one that you really understand.

If you could learn one new skill to help you improve your business, what would it be?

Learn to be a mechanic so that we didn’t have to spend so much getting our two converted 1970s Bedford food trucks looked at!

When has a local business surprised you in a positive way and how did they do it?

We love it when we hear of businesses supporting charitable initiatives. They might not always shout about it, but behind the scenes they’re doing something to have a positive impact.

Where can we find out more about you and The Cheese Bar?

Via our website: www.thecheesebar.com or on our Twitter and Instagram