Edinburgh is home to a wide range of specialty food shops where the gourmand can indulge their passion for almost any delicacy, comestible or beverage. Among the most popular and enduring is the institution that is I.J. Mellis Cheesemongers.
Iain J. Mellis had a long and illustrious career in the British cheese industry before he decided to open his first shop. Frustrated at the lack of opportunities for the public to purchase traditionally made farmhouse cheeses – and convinced that traditional methods when combined with modern technologies could create the most flavorsome and enticing concoctions – he decided to follow his dream and open an artisan cheese shop.
In 1993, he opened his first shop on Victoria Street in the heart of the picturesque Old Town. Since this bold move, his business has gone from strength to strength.
I.J. Mellis' fine selection of cheese — Photo courtesy of I.J. Mellis Morningside
The shop was a great success, and it was swiftly followed by a further two shops in Edinburgh (one in the leafy suburb of Morningside, and the other in trendy Stockbridge), as well as shops in Glasgow, Aberdeen and St Andrews.
Mellis supplies cheese to many of Scotland's top restaurants and chefs, and he has fostered a love of artisan cheeses with both Scots and tourists. Over two decades later, I.J. Mellis has lost none of his enthusiasm and continues to seek out new delicious cheeses to present to an appreciative public.
Each premises stocks a wide range of cheeses made in the traditional manner. You'll find all of the classic types of cheese made with cow's milk, goat's milk and sheep's milk. And you'll also find a wide selection of exotic and intriguing cheeses you may have never encountered before.
Thankfully, his knowledgeable staff are on hand to help you narrow down your selection and perhaps even try a sample or two.
Wedding cheese is a special occasion — Photo courtesy of I.J. Mellis Stockbridge
In addition to the cheeses, you can also find a tempting selection of Mediterranean charcuterie, Virgin oils, Scottish honey and an impressive range of chutneys and jams. They also have delicious oatcakes, biscuits and breads, as well as fresh fruit, pickles and almost any other accompaniment for cheese you could imagine.
If you're planning a dinner party, helpful staff at I.J. Mellis can help you assemble a cheeseboard to rival that of any Michelin-starred restaurant. Or perhaps you're just looking for a special treat for yourself or a loved one?
For an alternative to the standard wedding cake, they can also help you create a unique and memorable cheese tower, complete with garnish, to surprise and delight your guests.