A Fond(ue) Farewell

Cheese is a many splendored thing.

My favourite discovery during my fresher’s week was not the breath-taking view from the pier or the hilarious phenomenon that is the Lizard, it was a cheese shop. But not just any cheese shop, the Guid Cheese shop.

I stumbled upon the shop during a foodie tour of the town and my reaction was akin to that of Charlie Bucket’s upon entering the Chocolate Factory. My wide eyes lit up as my nostrils took in the wave of cheesy goodness that wafted over me. And then they told me that I could become part of Guid Cheese. In return for a tiny bit of wine pouring and washing up I could go to the tastings for free! Yes, that meant free cheese! It was as moving a moment as when Willy Wonka asks Charlie to take over the business.

So this is how I got to know Svetlana, the founder of the shop and my authority on all things cheesy. Svetlana is inspirationally passionate about cheese and this passion is infectious and it is what makes the Guid Cheese shop such a special place. As their website says, their philosophy is “to expand appreciation and awareness of fine cheese” and they definitely practice what they preach. No one could receive advice in the shop or attend one of the tastings without being seriously impressed with Svetlana’s mastery of her field. The shop has the third best cheese counter in Britain despite not having been around for that long and Svetlana sits on the judging panel for the one and only World Cheese Awards.

And so a few months ago it came as a complete shock to hear that Svetlana had decided to leave St Andrews. My foodie world was turned upside down with the news that this haven of fine cheese tucked away in an adorable courtyard off South Street would no longer be a part of St Andrews. But there is hope for Guid Cheese; this doesn’t have to be goodbye! Svetlana has already had her last day in the shop but two of her close friends are hoping to buy the business from her. Things are looking promising since they have surpassed their crowd-funding target! This means the business will be able to continue as the successful, independent establishment that it has always been. Svetlana has been training them up herself and assured me that she will be pop back for the occasional tasting.

I look forward to seeing what changes, if any, will have been made to the shop by the time it reopens in April. People’s enthusiasm to save the shop is testament to Svetlana’s great work during her time here. Trust me, I’m not her only fan girl.