News from the Grindstone series - 01 Jumi Cheese

News from the Grindstone series - 01 Jumi Cheese

With a shop in Stoke Newington, a stall in Borough Market, and a new shop soon to open in Crouch End, Jumi Cheese is delivering some of the finest Swiss cheeses, pickles, and freshly baked in-house loaves to their neighbourhoods in London.

Here is a snippet of the rather extraordinary history of the expansion of this family business, from operating under the rules and reach of the cartel of the Swiss Cheese Union, to the freedom of today’s production.

A Swiss family have been making the Jumi cheeses since 1896 in the beautiful valley of Emmental. The cows graze in the green pastures, and their milk is brought to the dairy twice daily, still warm. They’ve honed their craft over five generations, with every step in the process being non-industrial. Their cheeses could be nurtured by them for days, months, or even years to achieve the perfect flavour, with an obsession for quality.

For feet on the ground in London, the duo of Marcello and Tomi have evolved the business from purely cheeses to include dill pickles, breads, seeded crackers (“Molly’s crackers”, named after a former team member who pioneered them), and even a pinot noir which they work closely with the grower to produce for them. Also their legendary raclette nights after hours in the shop.

Marcello explains to me that previously, under the Swiss Cheese Union, the family were very restricted in the type of cheese they were allowed to produce - in their case, it was only Emmental. The Cheese Union controlled who could produce what, and where, for many years. With the collapse of the Swiss Cheese Union in the 1990’s, the family became free to make all kinds of cheeses, including their now much loved Schlossberger, or the creamy La Bouse with seasonal twists including wild garlic or truffle.


The bread side of the business was something positive to be born out of the problems of Covid and multiple lockdowns. With businesses facing immense strains under the constantly changing government rules, Tomi came up with the idea that they should sell fresh bread to help boost their custom. He taught himself how to bake baguettes from a book (“we were only doing seven or so at a time to begin with”). They were an immediate hit, and demand quickly grew enough for them to need to purchase a professional bread oven, and a stand mixer which dates from the 1990’s but which still operates “perfectly” out the back of the shop. “Try and find an older bread mixer in operation out there!” challenges Marcello.


This make-do-and-mend attitude is evidently a key to part of their success and the business’s endearing character, and enterprising spirit. Tomi tells me how all of the furniture in the shop is reclaimed from old Swiss chalets, even down to their cheese fridges, which are created from old chalet cabinets. Their bakery is at the back of the shop, where you can catch glimpses of Gianluca flouring, mixing and shaping the loaves for the day. A huge copper cauldron has also been turned into a combination of a fridge and a display cabinet, which they drove over themselves from the farm in Switzerland in the back of a lorry. It was previously used for making cheese, and now forms part of the heart of their Stoke Newington shop.

They bake their loaves using our organic No. 4 white flour, our organic wholemeal, and our organic dark rye.

When asked about their favourite cheeses from the farm, Marcello says “I love the complexity of Belper Knolle, made with garlic flakes and Himalayan salt, then rolled in black pepper and matured until it gets rock hard. It is fantastic shaved on anything from salad to steaks, spaghetti and risotto! It is produced in a small town called Belp from where it gets the name. I also love the Blue Brain, something really out of the ordinary, mould slowly develops on the outside of the cheese and it stays creamy inside. We offer them in many stages of maturation from as young as 2-3 weeks to over 12 months.” 

To read more about this incredible group of artisans and entrepreneurs you can head to their website at Jumi Cheese London , or even better pay them a visit in person at their shops or one of their raclette nights. If you’re after their fresh bread, this is made Wednesday – Sunday.