Toons Bridge Dairy
About Toons Bridge Dairy
Franco, our head cheese-maker
Toons Bridge Dairy, sister company to The Real Olive Company, was established in 2011, in an old creamery building in the historic Irish artisan food area of West Cork. Toby Simmonds and Jenny-Rose Clarke own and run the dairy, producing cheeses in small batches, exclusively using fresh, local, raw cow and sheep’s milk. Toons Bridge Dairy specialises in Southern Mediterranean style cheeses, particularly stretched curd cheeses known as pasta filet. The dairy is best known for it’s Mozzarella, but also produces over 12 other types of cheese, including Cacciocavallo, Ricotta, Smoked Scamorza, Halloumi, Burrata and more.
Toby and Jenny-Rose started The Real Olive Company in 1993, and based themselves between Cork’s English Market and Toonsbridge, with market stalls and wholesale customers around the country. When Toby and Jenny-Rose first started making Cheese, these market stalls were ideal for distributing their Mozzarella as freshly as possible, and offered the perfect opportunity to get direct feedback from customers. To this day, Toons Bridge Diary cheeses are sold predominantly through the Real Olive Company stalls, as well as through Toby and Jenny-Rose’s well-established wholesale network.
Over the years Toby and Jenny-Rose have broadened their range of cheeses with the help of head cheese-maker, Franco Picciulo, who hails from the heartland of mozzarella production in Naples. Franco has been making pasta filata cheese since he was eleven years old, and is the 4th generation of his family to do so. Franco’s experience and innovation are key to the range of cheeses now being produced at Toons Bridge Dairy. As the cheeses are made in small productions and are mainly distributed by Toby and Jenny-Rose themselves, there is great freedom for experimentation in the dairy. Together, the owners and the cheese-makers have great fun coming up with new ideas, creating seasonal cheeses, and are constantly expanding their range.
Toby and Franco at work
Manipulating the curd to make Caciocavallo
Large Mature Caciocavallo / Making Cow & Sheep's Milk Halloumi in the Dairy
Halloumi Lollypop at Litfest 2017 / Mozzarella display in the English Market