Don’t you just melt whenever you see a platter of cheese with a side of beer on the dining table?
Despite its presented duality of services - offering craft beer as well as British and European cheese - Froth and Rind in Walthamstow, UK is so much more than that. This ingenious shop, which runs a monthly Cheese Club while also creating cheese ‘cakes’ for weddings in the UK, was founded by Fraser MacLellan.
Fraser has spent most of his career in Digital Media, making the switch to running his own business in 2015. He has combined his love of food & drink with his digital skills launching Froth & Rind’s online shop alongside their bricks and mortar store in Walthamstow.
Fraser is passionate about finding out everything he can about the products he sells so that he and his team are able to share this with the customers and give them the best possible experience. His experimentation with pairing products has led to some unusual matches which are available to try or buy at Froth & Rind.
Fascinated by the creative combinations concocted by Froth and Rind, we from Honest Food Talks reached out to Fraser to learn more about his background, and how it all came to be.
Where did the idea for Froth and Rind come from?
I’ve always been interested in food and drink and a few years ago noticed lots of local people on Twitter wishing there was a cheese shop in Walthamstow. We thought we’d test it out and worked on markets and popups for a bit to see if there was a demand.
It quickly demonstrated that there was so we looked into opening a shop. Once we found the premises, it soon became clear there was the opportunity for more than just a cheese shop and Froth & Rind was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive, keep yourself busy?
Strangely, there’s no such thing as a typical day at Froth & Rind. We always seem to have something going on, whether it’s making coffees, toasties, serving cheese, which I guess would be typical activities.
But then, we have so much more that we do. We put together cheese wedding cakes, we sell online; and there are social media. Also, we’re always trialling new products - we quite often taste existing products to make sure they’re still amazing, especially the cookies and brownies!
If, after all that is done and there’s still time, we’ll clean again. Nothing wrong with some extra cleaning.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive?
I’m a big fan of mindfulness and stop several times a day to clear my head. This helps me relax and also frees up some headspace for new ideas.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Enjoy yourself – your path isn’t set and things can always change.
What is the one thing you do over and over again and recommend everyone else do?
I constantly review the data on the business. What’s selling, and what’s not selling? What’s going up, and what’s going down? What social media posts are working?
This allows me to notice any trends, seasonal fluctuations and generally makes the business more efficient. Data is really important, without it, you could be spending time doing a load of things that don’t really matter.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Flexibility. It’s important to remain open and not get attached to any one idea.
Some things work and some things don’t so it’s important to be able to give everything a reasonable try but then accept that it’s maybe not right for your business. We have had some products that I absolutely love but our customers never took to, so we had to move on and try something else.
This also helped during the lockdowns where we quickly switched to products that were more suited to delivery and online sales.
What's one trend in the F&B industry that excites you?
I’m excited about all the new businesses forming as a result of COVID.
Sadly we lost a lot, but lots of innovative new producers and chefs are making some fantastic things to make the market much more interesting!
What is the best £20 you recently spent? What and why?
My wife and I had an impromptu drink at Marilucia recently.
It was our first in some time due to all the restrictions. The sun was shining, we sat outside with a couple of cool drinks.
£20 well spent!
What is your favourite quote?
Haha, one of my daughters is a big Dolly Parton fan and she always quotes “if you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain”. I like that.
What are some of your favourite places to eat at?
Loads of great places to eat in Walthamstow and around – Marilucia – a great Sardinian restaurant with a relaxed family feel, Baggio Burger in Crate St James is the best burger I’ve ever had. And whenever I go home to Glasgow I make sure I visit Mother India.
What's the best thing to order from Froth and Rind?
Chilli Goats Gruff toastie – soft and fluffy goats cheese with a delicious chilli jam from Galloway Lodge in Scotland.
Are there any exciting plans coming from Froth and Rind soon?
Yes – we hope to open a second venue in the coming year (2022) plus we’re releasing some products of our own soon, although I can’t divulge too much on that for now.
A cheese lover but not just limited to that? Then be sure to check out Fraser’s Froth and Rind via his social media and website below!
FROTH AND RIND
37 Orford Road, London E17 9NL, United Kingdom
Next, check out our interview with Nicole Ma, co-founder of SKILK Tea in London!