Before I moved to Chicago to work with MidwestRoots, I lived in London for a few years. I was lucky enough to work at the roasting arches at Monmouth Coffee, one of the best coffee companies in the world.
This is where I learned about single origin coffee, which can (and should be!) approached like wine. In wine you hear the term terrior to refer to the soil in which the grapes are grown. This encapsulates not only the actual dirt, but also the culture of the place – the people, the farming methods, the landscape. It is place captured through taste. Monmouth approaches coffee in the same way, traveling to each farm where they buy their coffee to talk with the farmers directly. Monmouth sources, roasts and sells coffee with such passion and deep-rooted knowledge, and its customers and the coffee community have all benefited from this expertise over the years.
Monmouth is owned and run by Anita LeRoy. Her husband, Randolph Hodgson, is the owner of Neal’s Yard Dairy. The Dairy, or NYD, is sister company to Monmouth and sells British cheese of exceptional quality throughout the world. Formaggio Kitchen, a store that we work with, explains on their blog why NYD is such a special place.
For more info on the power couple behind not one but two of the most important stops on any food lover’s itinerary in London, check this article from the Guardian. People who know food in London now bypass Borough market and head straight to Maltby Street on Saturdays to do their shopping.
Neal’s Yard Dairy is able to ship internationally and is sold at great cheese stores across the US. We currently work with many of these stores, like Pastoral and Provenance in Chicago. So now you can go familiarize yourself with Neal’s Yard Dairy and British cheese through tasting it : ) My fave is Coolea, a Dutch style hard cheese from Ireland.
Monmouth is not able to ship internationally, so you’ll have to take a trip to London to try for yourself!