The company is owned jointly by Susan Fiander-Woodhouse & her husband Gerry Woodhouse. Susan manages the company on the day to day basis and is also responsible for all the food safety & legal responsibilities & accounting. Gerry organizes stock, deliveries, sets up the shows, logistics & is the company engineer. The other member of this family business is Charlotte (daughter) production manager and young entrepreneur.
Susan’s personal qualifications are as follows: Cheese manufacture & grading, external and internal auditing, leadership, managing diversity and equality, business management, Customer Care & a sense of Place
The Blaenafon Cheddar Company has been established in accordance with our local environmental health team, we have Scored 5 every year for food compliance
We hold our EEC licence & work within our Quality Management system to ensure product safety and traceability at all times.
The company prides itself in the work it does for international tourism for Wales. This involves exhibiting at many major events & festivals, working with TV & Media worldwide and always being on duty even on days off!
We have starred in ‘Secret Supper club’ channel 4, ITV ‘Food Glorious Food’ , BBC ‘Country File’ with Mat Baker & Coast & Country. One of the most amazing highlights to date was to star on ‘Gino & Mel Do Christmas with Warwick Davies’ on ITV. We filmed with Dragons Den 2018, but that is another story and thanks to Touker Suleyman we are expanding without giving away any family shares in the business.
The Company’s lists of recent awards are: International Cheese awards 2018; Gold: Taffy Apple, cheddar, Highly Commended for Europe’s Best New Dairy Product and Europe’s Best Tourism Product. Countryside Alliance Rural Business Awards 2018- Welsh Champion. Monmouthshire Business Awards 2017 – Food Business of Excellence, Cardiff Business awards – Food Producer of excellence.
Tourism Ambassador – Visit Wales 2006, True Taste of Wales – 2007, 2009 & 2012, British Cheese Medals 2007 & 2010. Great Taste medals: 2 Gold stars for ‘Dragons Breath’ in 2012 & 1 Gold Star for our Oak Smoked Goats Cheese in 2013.
Susan Fiander-Woodhouse – Managing Director
aka, (Lady Cheddar). co-owner director of Blaenafon Cheddar.
List of roles includes: HR, Accountant, Quality Manager, Secretary, Purchasing Manager, Sales Manager, Planning, Shows and Events, Media, NPD, & TV Personality.
Susan was born in Walton on Thames London to a Welsh mother & Cornish father. She moved to Wales in 1976 and regards herself as being born on the wrong side of the Severn bridge, which wasn’t her fault. Having lived in Blaenavon for most of her life she considers herself a local. She is Mother of 3 children, Linda, Terence and Charlotte.
Linda: Susan’s Eldest is married to Adam. They have 3 children, Chloe & Kyle & Bella.
Son Terence married Natasha in September 2018. As yet they do not have any children apart from two Grand dogs Buster & Skyla. We have just found out we are due to be grandparents in December.
Charlotte is Susan’s youngest and is the Production manager, she has a son Theo.
Susan & Gerry have an acre Smallholding in Blaenafon where they have 1 dog, 2 Horses, 1 cat, 12 chickens, 2 Guinea pigs, 1 Cockatiels, 3 fish & the last WELSH DRAGON called Shrek. He breathes the breath into the Dragons Breath Chili cheddar. In her spare time susan loves getting the grandchildren wet & muddy, fishing, walking, geocaching, kayaking & generally mucking around & embarrassing the kids. Plus, her holidays visiting other beautiful locations.
Susan’s father died in 2003 before the business was started. Susan has some ashes of her father in a capsule. He joins in on family occasions, business meetings and holidays. He has probably travelled more miles dead than when he was alive.
Gerry Woodhouse – Operations Manager
Gerry also has a multitude of tasks within the company. This is the beauty of a real family business as all the roles are quite flexible within the family members. Gerry’s driving and navigation skills enable us to make quick efficient deliveries and collections. His engineering background also means that we rarely have to call an engineer into work, thus cutting down expenses.
Gerry & Susan married in 2003 at Caldicot Castle, Chepstow, Wales. Gerry Has 2 sons which between both Gerry & Susan make a gang of 5 kids.
Daniel Gerry’s eldest son is married to Samantha, live in Lincoln, they are both building their careers and like to travel. Daniel is a very active scout leader and enjoys taking the group on overseas adventures.
Jaymie lives in Bedford. Jaymie was an avid cheese taster for Susan when she was developing her Dragons Breath Cheddar, nothing was too hot for him!!!!
When Gerry has 5 minutes to relax, and is not mending, fixing or building hot tubs at home (Susan’s home development project) he loves to find a nice stretch of water and fish. Gerry can also be found skulking around in the wilderness Geocaching, sometimes susan joins in or the younger family members.
It is a fantastic way to get outside in the countryside as a family and helps teach the children about the outdoors, mapping and lots of other interesting things. Geocaching is hunting down a cache which has been hidden in the environment and using either mobile phones, GPS or traditional maps you set of to find it. Information about the sport can be found at www.geocaching.com. Good luck!
Kayaking and exploring foreign lands are also part of Gerry’s relaxation, so it’s a good job that Susan enjoys the same things as well.
Charlotte Hill – Production Manager
Charlotte is our youngest daughter, entrepreneur and Chief Cheese Maker. Her skills developed at an early age of 18 and she is the youngest person to have won a medal at the British Cheese awards for her Apple Charlotte Cheddar, which she made in memory of her Grandfather Peter Fiander. He would have been very proud. Charlotte was born on his 60th Birthday and was the Apple of his eye. He called her his Apple Charlotte Princes, he would never believe she could do anything wrong. And of course, Charlotte is adamant that she never did.
Qualified in both Business Management and Customer service, she will play a big part in taking Blaenafon Cheddar through into its next phase. She has an excellent creative flair and the addition of our Advent calendar ’12 Days of Cheesemas’ was Charlottes project.
Charlotte is a single mum and doing a grand job of raising Theo, who has the biggest smile and dimples and like his mummy, he can do no wrong!!!
Charlotte also enjoys getting out and about exploring and has just started some high-level walks which include Pen y fan.