Pub owner in cheesy plans for goats milk

Marcus Lund is planning to buy a herd of goats to produce cheese.

Marcus Lund is planning to buy a herd of goats to produce cheese.

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He may be used to pulling pints for patrons from behind the bar he has owned for nearly two decades, but Saltaire licensee Marcus Lund is planning on serving food at lunchtimes for the first time - with produce from his own herd of goats.

Having recently moved homes to a spot in the hilly, rural Keighley suburb of Riddlesden, the owner of Fanny’s Ale House is bidding to fulfill a long-held ambition to produce his own cheese.

Mr Lund, 49, is waiting for Bradford Council to rule on his planning application to open a milking parlour and covert a disused barn into a brewery on his smallholding, where he intends to produce goats cheese from his own herd and brew his own range of ales.

If his plans are successful, he also plans to buy in organic cows milk so that he can complement the goats cheese by producing a cows cheddar.

The cheese will form the basis of cheesy platters at Fanny’s during lunch hours, to be matched with an array of guest cask beers - including two brews which he hopes to concoct himself; a Blonde style ale and a spicy Porter Stout.

Mr Lund said: “Before I came here I was at a country pub and dining restaurant in South Cowton near Northallerton, The Arden Arms. The idea to produce my own cheese stemmed from there although it has never happened.

“But it’s been on my mind for the last few years. I have some cheesemaking equipment already and I’ve made some experimental batches of cows cheese. I think there is a market for it because goats cheese is hard to get hold of and if you do manage to get hold of some you are paying a premium for it.
“Having moved I now have my own bit of land to produce milk, build a milking parlour and produce cheese.”

A career in the pub trade means Mr Lund has no experience of handling livestock or milking, but he is undeterred.

“I have never done it but I’m confident because modern milking parlours are electronic now.

“Initially I’m looking to start with 50 goats, I’ll see how I get on and find out how many kilograms of cheese I can expect to produce from them and take it from there.”

He is in the market to buy a whole herd of goats and has two breeds - Alpine and Toggenburg - in mind.

Plans for the dairy include a 500 litre and a 1,500 litre vat, the smaller vessel will be used to make goats cheese and the larger one for the production of cheddar from cows milk.

While some of the cheese is intended to be served at Fanny’s in Saltaire Road, Mr Lund said the majority of his cheese will be sold to a wholesaler. Ultimately, he longs to get his produce on the shelves of Booths supermarkets.

His motivation for the diversification is nothing to do with adding profitability to his pub, Mr Lund says, as business is going strong regardless of the wider downturn in the industry. It is his own passions driving him on.

“I’m doing these things - the cheese and the beer - because I enjoy them myself and hopefully the public will enjoy them the same as I do.

“The timing is perfect for me.”

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