Haldane Martin was commissioned to design the interior of the new Healey’s Cheesery and Deli in the Western Cape wine region of Somerset West, as a space that offers customers the opportunity to taste cheese and wine together, while experiencing the cheese-making process first-hand. Healey’s Cheesery was envisioned to showcase the award-winning Healey’s Cheddar Cheese – most well-known for its slow-mature Farmhouse Cheddar, amongst the world’s top four cheddars since its launch in 2005. Locating the cheesery on the Waterkloof Wine Estate was the ideal fit as cheese and wine pair so perfectly, and so the vision was for a deli that would combine these in a beautiful natural setting alongside the cheesery.
Sitting overlooking the beautiful vista of False Bay, Healey’s Cheese is in a simple, contemporary farmhouse. Inside, the cheese deli looks directly into the cheese-making factory and maturing room through large back windows. Wooden shelves of cheeses are illuminated softly giving the display a glowing, ethereal quality for customers to experience while tasting and shopping for cheese and wine.
The design concept centres around large oversized spruce timber used to echo the large cheese wheels in scale and colour. The main deli counter stacks the warm yellow timber, with edges exposing the sawn ends. The natural splits in the wood have been inlaid with red resin, reminiscent of red wax used to seal cheese wheels. The upright beams of the tasting table and café tables also utilise thick pieces of spruce timber like large blocks of cheese. The café chairs are Ironic chairs by Ton, a retro farmhouse chair painted red.
The lighting also draws on the cheese motif. Round wooden pendants – like traditional round wooden cheese moulds – hang from exposed red piping between heavy wooden ceiling beams. These give the sense of an old farmhouse while keeping the aesthetic light and contemporary.
Raw steel has been used on the counter and table tops, and in the counter legs, signage and other design elements. Raw Steel rubbed with oil to inhibit rust hints at the fact that the cheese is unpasteurised and is perfectly safe for consumption. The walls have been left as exposed brick, with a feature wall painted charcoal to modernise the interior.
Back wall signage emphasises the famous Healey’s Cheese brand. Large display counters and vertical wine racks and fridges clad in wood offer ample space to showcase the product, encouraging customers to take something home after enjoying a cheese platter and wine. A final detail are custom-made cheese boards with the Healey’s emblem lasercut into the unique Baubuche laminated boards.
The final result is the ultimate brand experience of Healey’s Cheese: a welcoming and novel space set in an idyllic, natural landscape that showcases Healey’s Cheese as the hero while creating the perfect environment for customers to try their cheese alongside expertly paired wines and preserves.
Photographs by Micky Hoyle