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  • Writer's pictureAbi

The Stores - Wine and Cheese in Frome

Updated: Jan 20

Wine and Cheese tasting at The Stores in Frome

We had planned on getting this first blog out before Christmas, well actually our initial plans were to be open much earlier but as with all things in life, the best things are worth waiting for. We couldn’t have imagined a better first month though and want to thank you all so so much for your support! Now the whirlwind has calmed down, we have time to catch our breath and introduce ourselves properly.

While Sarah and I both grew up in the South West (me down the road in Bradford on Avon and Sarah in Crewkerne near South Petherton), we met working for a wine merchant in London, almost 10 years ago. Sarah had just come from Michelin Star Gidleigh Park where she worked as a Sommelier to join our training team while I (much less glamorously!) came from Majestic Wine to work in sales. Over the years we worked together with clients such as The Royal National Theatre, Wimbledon and Historic Royal Palaces to name a few, curating bespoke wine lists, food and wine matching menus and training staff. Sarah then moved to Frome in 2018 to open Eight Stony Street as Head of Wine and fast forward a few years of me working with restaurants and venues in London, I joined her, moving back with my husband and daughter to be closer to family.

The concept of The Stores was born over many dinners and dog walks. Between us we have almost 30 years of experience working with wine, from picking grapes to working in restaurants and (almost) everything in between. For us, discovering amazing producers has always been our favorite part and we are just as passionate about great wines and stories as we were when we first met. We wanted to create a space where we would meet friends for a glass, or pop into on our way home to pick up an interesting bottle. We agreed that the most important message should be to show that wine can be fun, not intimidating. We hand selected a considered range of delicious wines from independent producers all over the world while being careful not to overload you with too much choice. Our plan instead is to keep our range fresh, always evolving as we discover more wines we want to share with you. Our selection covers all the ‘classics’ but our focus is to introduce you to new varietals and regions that you may not have come across before but that deserve the spotlight. It’s also very important to us that all our producers share our ethos of regenerative viticulture and agriculture. While our wines may not all be certified organic, largely due to costs associated for small businesses, they are all from producers who work consciously not only to make the most delicious products, but also to ensure the future of our planet.

The addition of British cheese to our business was a natural choice for us. We are so close to some of the country’s most well-regarded cheesemakers; we have traditional cheddars, artisanal goats’ cheeses, and actual buffalo mozzarella all within an hour of the shop. Frome itself enjoys a historical relationship with cheese (cue the Cheese & Grain and the famous Frome Cheese Show) but we felt there wasn’t anywhere to go and support local farmers and cut to order. That plus we both love cheese and it was an obvious choice to offer with a glass of wine in our bar! Also, the more we learnt about the flavor profiles, the production techniques and how the environment affects the end product, the more similarities we drew between the wine and cheese world and we wanted to showcase that too.

With the help of family and friends, we managed to turn a butcher into a cosy wine bar and shop in less than a month but we aren’t stopping there (we need actually put our name on the front for starters!). We vow to keep our range of both wine and cheese fresh with an ever-evolving selection. We also plan to bring our experience to you and host regular tastings. Our first one, an introduction to cheese & wine sold out within a week but we plan to host at least one a month; whether that be celebrating very best of British or a focusing on a particular region or theme, keep an eye on our Eventbrite page for more information. 

We are so excited to be on the hill and cannot wait for what the future holds!

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