How Tamara Newing founded BoatShed Cheese. Her award-winning business a legacy of love


This is the story of a loving enterprise which has evolved after an undeniably cruel twist of fate.

Today in the AFR Weekend, Tamara Newing reveals a new focus she says saved her life – making artisan cheese at her Mount Martha cheesery.  It is a skill she only discovered as she climbed out of the depths of grief at the loss of her son, aged 14, in a diving accident. *Here she is on AFR TV too.

BoatShed Cheese was officially launched in July 2012 and has already won a Dairy Industry Association prize in 2013 for the best non-bovine cheese in Australia.  I assure you, the Horizon with its line of ash through the centre, or the dramatic and delicious Black Pearl are among the most memorable cheeses I have tasted.  And did I mention the Chelsea Blue?


Newing says she originally learned the art of cheesemaking on the Mornington Peninsula, just out of Melbourne, from her mentors, Jan and Trevor Brandon, of the nearby Red Hill Cheese.

She sells her range of cheeses, which mostly are French-style goat’s cheeses, at a variety of markets around Melbourne. The delicious morsels generally run out by the end of the day – so you need to get in early!  At Flemington, Mornington, Boneo and Mt Eliza markets she will have a BoatShed stand on market days.  Or you can find her cheese at a growing list of wonderful restaurants and wineries in Melbourne and on the Mornington Peninsula.

Many in Melbourne may remember Tamara’s Kitchen in Hawthorn where she taught thousands of students to cook for some 15 years throughout the late 80s and 90s.  These days Tamara aims to keep the business at a manageable level and focus heart and soul on her ‘babies’ – all the little cheeses she checks early in the morning and puts to bed late at night!