Donegal Farmhouse Cheese is a brand new product on the Irish market from husband and wife duo James and Noreen Cunningham. James and Noreen hail from the South West Donegal village of Kilcar on the Wild Atlantic Way, on your journey towards the majestic sea cliffs of Slieve League.
This week Noreen told Donegal Food Tours that herself and James have been working on their Donegal cheddar cheese over the last few years and went to market just before Christmas this year. “We realised there were very few cheese makers in Donegal and we felt there was a real gap in the market for an artisan Donegal cheese and so Kilard Cheddar was born.”
Noreen’s background is in sales & marketing, while James farms cattle and sheep and works in sales for a local company in Killybegs. They also have a busy little 2 year old boy Jimmy who keeps them on their toes.
“In our first year in business we have made a small quantity of cheese already but it is going to sell out quickly, so we need to focus on getting more cheese made this summer! We make our cheese from May to September when the cows are grazing the grass rather than when they are housed as we want the highest quality milk in order to make our cheese”, Noreen explains.
Current stockists include McLoones Butchers (Killybegs), The Counter Deli (Letterkenny), EWS Butchers (Donegal Town), Walsh Butchers (Donegal Town), Byrnes Butchers (Dunkineely), Doherty XL (Carrick), Hegarty’s Centra (Main St Kilcar) and Hegarty’s Centra (killybegs).
You can also find Kilard Cheddar on menus in some of Donegal’s top restaurants and cafes including Kitty Kelly’s Restaurant, Harvey’s Point Hotel, The Lemon Tree Restaurant and Coffee Time with more stockists being added to the list weekly.
Noreen explains, “We’ve been so lucky since we launched, everyone has been so nice and welcomed our product. We’ve received lovely feedback which proves that there really is a demand for Donegal produce and having the support from the chefs and consumers in Donegal has been amazing.”
We would like to wish Noreen and James all the best on their new venture and look forward to many cheese boards with this delightful new Donegal product!
We recommend pairing with a Lor Du Sud Cabernet Sauvignon from Dicey Reillys Off-Licence in Ballyshannon or The Counter Deli & Wine Shop in Letterkenny
Or an Ontañon Rioja Crianza available from ‘The Counter Deli’