Rachel Stephens and her young family moved to Devon in 1979 buying a small farm to go dairy farming. They arrived with 37 cows and a large mortgage!
Her life with the world of cheese began when she was offered a part time job. This was helping with the launch of Curworthy Cheese back in 1985 when it was decided by Farmers Weekly to make cheese at Curworthy Farm using the milk produced by the farms cows. She took over the business in 1987 and eventually moved it to her own farm Stockbeare Farm in 1990 so that she could use her own milk. The farm is a 90 acre farm based in the heart of Devon overlooking the Tors of Dartmoor with the ideal weather for growing grass for the dairy herd.
She only uses milk from the cows there on the farm and doesn’t buy any in. The cheese recipe is based on a Gouda style with a distinctive creamy texture but with quite a mature flavour. Devon Oke is her most popular and well known cheese. During her time as cheese maker there has been an influx of farm cheese businesses start directly as a result of the low milk price that farmers are receiving. This has been good news for the consumer and probably the range of cheese now made in this country rivals France!