“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
When it comes to cheesiness, we like to think that we are the absolute experts.
Alas, one woman’s knowledge of all things cheese is simply above and beyond! Sarah McGree, owner and founder of The Wild Grazer, is a cheese connoisseur with a flourishing business.
In recent years, we’re seeing cheese wheel cakes everywhere, and we wanted to get the inside scoop.
So here we go! Cheese lovers, this one’s for you.
How did you get into the world of weddings and cheese cakes?
“I lived in North America for most of my twenties, I moved to Chicago first and then Toronto. I worked with elite caterers in Chicago, specialising in weddings and high-end home events. I then moved to Toronto and began working with a boutique art hotel as a Senior Wedding Specialist and in-house food stylist.”
“Between these two jobs, I sold, planned, and executed hundreds of weddings and events, along with food styling a vast majority of these events.”
“I had the pleasure of being a part of some incredible celebrations, many of which included cheese wheel wedding cakes. When I moved home, I saw a gap in the market here for a cheese wheel wedding cake specialist. Intuitively knowing that I had the skills and experience to offer Irish couples something truly unique, my journey began!”
Why do you think cheese wheel cakes have become so popular in recent years?
“I think now more than ever, people are moving away from traditional wedding trends and are seeking out new ideas to personalise their day and add that ‘wow factor.'”
“Cheese wheel wedding cakes are the perfect solution to this demand, they put a new unique twist on a traditional aspect of weddings.”
“Along with this, many people, like myself, actually prefer savoury to sweet and see more value in choosing a savoury cake. There is also huge versatility with cheese wheel cakes, they can be used during the welcome drinks reception, as a cheese course with dinner, as a late night snack or even saved and used on day two. “
“So it provides couples with a lot more options and also more bang for their buck! “
Do you do any lactose free/vegan cheese alternatives?
“Yes! I can provide alternatives for people who need lactose free or vegan options.”
What’s your most popular cheese cake?
“Every cake is different! My cakes are categorised by guest count, starting at 80–100 guests. “
“I provide multiple options for a range of guest count, and I also tell all my couples that if there is something in particular that they want that isn’t listed on the menu, I can source anything for them. “
“I discuss styles of decorating, and I liaise with their florists to understand what overall look they are going for. “
“I really try to encourage the couples that I work with to allow their cake to showcase their taste, style and personalities. I like to work with every couple to create what they envision, versus only having a few options that they must choose from.”
Can couples taste your cakes before they select the one they want?
“Yes, tasting samples can absolutely be arranged!”
Where do you get your cheese from? Is it Irish cheese and do you have a particular local producer?
“All the cheeses on my menu are Irish, my main suppliers are Cooleeney, Gubbeen, Cashel Blue & Coolea. These are incredible local producers that produce a range of crowd pleasers and absolute show-stoppers. I can also source any special cheese that any of my clients may be looking for!”
If your cheese cakes could talk, what would they say?
“Try me, I dare you!”
Who or what is your biggest inspiration as a woman in business?
“My mam! She started her own business when I was ten years old.”
“I watched her leave her long term job to take the plunge and do what she was truly passionate about. I’ve dipped in and out of working with her since I was ten, and have learned so much about starting and growing a business through her.”
“She has always encouraged me to live life my way and to do what makes me happy. Deep down, I always knew I was going to work for myself, but that belief in myself to actually do it definitely came from watching her do it.”
What is your best selling grazing box?
“The Signature Cheese & Charcuterie Platter is my best seller; it is the ultimate home catering solution!”
“The platter is made specially to fit in any fridge and serves up to ten guests. It is delivered on a board ready to serve and comes with all the crackers, chutneys, cracker boats, ramekins and serving utensils that you need. “
“These platters take the stress out of hosting and create an Instagram-able centrepiece for any occasion!”
What is your favourite cheese creation you’ve ever made?
“Last summer I created a wedding display in Mountain View Kilkenny.”
“I worked with the most incredible florist, Michelle from Gypsy Wild Rose Flowers and Eliza from Mano Bespoke Boho Events. We had so much fun together and ended up creating one of the most beautiful displays of all time. “
“We all inspired each other in different ways, and it was just so much fun to work with two other amazing women, who are gifted at what they do to create such a jaw dropping display!”
If you could change the world with cheese, how would you do it?
“I like to think that food brings people together.”
“I don’t know about you, but for me, food has been and always will be a way to bond and connect with people. There is something so beautiful about sharing an incredible food experience with a friend, family member, or even a stranger.”
“I may be biased, but to me, there is no greater food than cheese.”
“Put a cheese board and some wine in front of anyone, and it immediately creates a sense of occasion, excitement, joy and connection. And wouldn’t the world be such a brighter place if we all had a little bit more joy, excitement and connection!”
For more of Sarah’s amazing work, check out thewildgrazer.ie or on socials @thewildgrazer.
Image credit: Sarah McGree @thewildgrazer