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Considered one of my favourite issues to do in London is let my ft and emotions take me to new neighborhoods and eateries. On a latest day of exploring and consuming, my good friend Olga and I discovered ourselves at Seven Dials Market. The indoor market has greater than 20 completely different meals distributors, however a conveyor belt circulating copious quantities of cheese caught our eye.

The street view outside of Seven Dials Market during a December evening with holiday lights decorating the building.
Our last night cease was Seven Dials Market, which led to our discovery of The Cheese Bar, which serves British cheese on a conveyor belt. Shuang Esther Shan 

The 40-meter-long conveyor belongs to Decide & Cheese, a restaurant showcasing British cheeses and accompaniments like charcuterie, jams, pickles, and wine. 

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Decide & Cheese itself is part of The Cheese Bar, a set of eating places and retail shops that was initially launched in 2014 by Mathew Carver as a cell meals venue known as The Cheese Truck.

 Pick & Cheese setting within Seven Dials Market filled with patrons on its seats and servers behind its conveyor belt serving up wine and cheese.
Decide & Cheese is part of The Cheese Bar, which has three eating places, a retail retailer, and an internet subscription enterprise.   Nic Crilly-Hargrave 

Mathew’s entry into the meals scene was executed with a number of planning and thought, full with a visit to the USA to be taught extra concerning the avenue meals scene. 

“The analysis journey was actually attempting to achieve perception into meals traits, particularly with avenue meals and meals vans,” Mathew explains. “On the time, in London, our avenue meals tradition was simply taking form. So the concept was to go to the States and see what was taking place there, as a result of the trade was possibly a couple of years additional down the highway.”

Mathew Carver, in his retail location, Funk, which showcases a wide variety of British cheeses.
Mathew Carver, in his retail location, Funk, which showcases all kinds of British cheeses.  Nic Crilly-Hargrave 

Noticing a niche inside the London meals scene for cheese-centric eateries, Mathew determined to spotlight native cheese producers by a meals truck. However financing proved to be a hurdle, so he pivoted to testing out the concept on a smaller scale. 

“We began with a market stall, pretty low monetary startup prices—I believe someplace within the area of some hundred kilos—to purchase a griddle to prepare dinner the sandwiches on and a few Tupperwares and primary kitchen tools,” says Mathew.

Various plates of cheese on a conveyor belt from a bird’s-eye view at the restaurant Pick & Cheese.
Earlier than committing to a truck, Mathew examined out his concept by working a stall at a meals market. Nic Crilly-Hargrave 

As soon as the idea was validated at meals markets and Mathew had sufficient financial savings, the crew bought an previous ice cream truck to drive the concept additional. Sticking to the dairy theme, the car was transformed into The Cheese Truck, and the crew grew the enterprise much more by working at concert events, festivals, and occasions.

A grilled cheese sandwich along with salad and a beverage served inside The Cheese Barge location of The Cheese Bar.
The Cheese Barge serves up grilled cheese and different dishes whereas floating on London’s Regent Canal. Shuang Esther Shan 

“I believe we had been actually fortunate on the time that we had been in the best trade on the proper time,” Mathew says. “Road meals in 2014 in London was simply kicking off. So there have been a number of alternatives, and most company occasions needed avenue meals companies to return and do the meals.”

A box by Funk filled with a bottle of wine, cheeses, and a poster.
COVID restrictions compelled The Cheese Bar on-line, and the crew tailored the enterprise by providing wine-and-cheese subscriptions. The Cheese Bar

Constructing on the momentum, The Cheese Truck changed into The Cheese Bar in 2017, when the crew constructed its first restaurant in Camden Market. From one location to a few, the enterprise grew every year till 2020, when doorways needed to shut as a result of COVID. 

“In a single day we closed the eating places. Helen and Taylor, who works with me, in a short time discovered Shopify,” shares Mathew. “[We] discovered it fairly fast and simple to arrange an internet website.” 

The COVID pivot moved The Cheese Bar on-line by providing wine-and-cheese subscriptions underneath the moniker Funk, which helped the enterprise survive previous lockdown-induced restaurant closures. As soon as issues opened once more, Funk additionally took up a bodily retail location to service the group in individual. Just like the preliminary problem of buying a truck, Mathew and his crew tailored and turned a problem into an opportunity to develop the enterprise.

A pair of yellow socks along with a t-shirt and tote bag offered by Funk the online and retail store operated by The Cheese Bar.
Together with wine-and-cheese subscriptions, Funk additionally provides merchandise like socks and shirts that permit patrons showcase their love for cheese. The Cheese Bar

Now closing in on a decade in enterprise, Mathew is setting his sights on larger plans to increase past London to much more places.

The twists and turns of constructing The Cheese Bar are simply one of many subjects Mathew shared on the present. Tune in to the complete episode of Shopify Masters to listen to about Mathew’s fundraising journey and recommendation for fellow meals entrepreneurs when increasing.

The Cheese Bar’s Journey From Meals Truck to Seven Figures and Multichannel Success (2023)