The Time Out Love London Award winners were announced this week and Cheeses Of Muswell Hill, in Fortis Green Road, scooped the accolade of London’s most loved shop.

Customers voted after being spoilt for choice by the 220 different types of cheese on offer that have been handpicked by owner Morgan McGlynn and her staff and bought direct from farmers rather than wholesalers.

Cheeses of Muswell Hill has featured on television programmes such as Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries and Paul Hollywood’s BBC show Bread, and also has the option of delivering your order straight to your door.

Morgan, who is also from Muswell Hill, began a Saturday job there in 2008 while she was studying graphic design at the London Metropolitan University.

However, a year and a half later, the owners, who were family friends of hers and had been in charge for 30 years, found themselves in financial trouble.

So, at the age of only 21, she took it over and has spent the last eight years building up the shop.

She reveals she is still coming to terms with her business winning.

The 29-year-old says: “We are pretty overwhelmed to win best shop in the whole London, as we thought we were winning just the best shop in Muswell Hill, so it was a huge shock.

“We were filming during the awards and I dropped my phone and was just hysterically crying. I think it means so much more because it is the customers who voted and they are the reason we are here after 38 years.

“This is the first time we’ve been in the Time Out competition and only listed ourselves after being recommended to put ourselves forward. However, all of a sudden it just snowballed and lots of our customers were saying they had voted, which was fantastic to hear.”

Morgan has built up a strong relationship with her regulars over the years and already knows what will sell the most over the festive period.

She says: “We have an amazing Brie de Meaux that is very popular and so is our Montgomery Cheddar, which I often take home an awful lot. Colston Bassett Stilton is another favourite of mine, but our Christmas special is definitely Brie with truffles inside, as it is ridiculously good and is just so indulgent. However, we are pretty biased and tend to like them.

“To accompany the cheese, we have a selection of wine, which goes amazingly and every one of our 220 cheeses has a wine paired up with it. We also have an array of chutneys that are made by a family member and a lot of crackers and fruit cake around the Christmas period. We do lots of honey, which goes really well with stilton and blue cheese.”

Morgan certainly is full of knowledge about the cheese business and it is no surprise, as the shop has always been a big part of her life.

She says: “We are all actively involved as my dad does the accounts and the technical side of things, my sister works in the shop with me, my partner works through the whole of December as it is so busy, my brother does the handiwork in the shop and my mum does all the beautiful things, like the displays, so it is a real team effort.

“I grew up five minutes away from the shop, so I have grown up with most of the customers. Even the doctor who delivered me as a baby still comes in every week, so it is very close knit and I like it.

“I’ve always had an interest in cheese and good food, and as soon as I started working at the shop, I fell instantly in love with it. I know a lot of the customers on a first name basis, which is so rare to have that and is probably why the customers enjoy it too.

“In the future we plan to expand and over the past year have been looking into it a lot, it is just finding the right place, we would never get rid of the cheese shop in Muswell Hill and I would love to pass it down to my children, it would be great to get the same reaction in a different part of London.”

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