Our friendly team are all knowledgeable about the cheese and other food and drink we sell. You will find some familiar faces who have been part of the team for many years, as well as some new ones who’ve joined to the Slate team more recently.


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Clare Jackson

Clare and her father, John Ormerod, are joint owners of Slate.

Clare is passionate about cheese; her particular favourites are soft, crumbly Cornish Yarg and oozing Baron Bigod. She also loves the taste of Morbier from France, with the amazing layer of ash running through the middle.   

Clare has been visiting Suffolk since childhood and now lives here with her husband and three boys. They love the Suffolk coast, the beaches, sailing and crabbing.

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Nico de Villiers

Nico is our shop manager in Aldeburgh and loves discovering new food and drink to add to our selection. 

Nico has been part of the team since 2001, and is key member of the Aldeburgh community. Originally from South Africa, he has lived in the UK for over 20 years.

Nico is interested in locally produced food and also has a strong interest in European foods from Italy and Spain. 

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Hannah Gibson

Hannah has joined the Slate team to manage our Southwold shop.

Hannah was born in Suffolk but grew up in Norfolk and travelled far and wide before settling in Norwich where she ran a busy deli and café. After 10 years she is pleased to take on a new challenge and to come to Southwold, where her parents have also just moved.

On her travels, Hannah has been inspired by many different cuisines but says that Vietnamese food is her favourite, while her favourite cheese is Italian burrata, closely followed by Gorgonzola torta mascarpone.

 
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Kim Churchyard

Kim is our head chef. She prepares fresh salads daily, our prepared meals, soups and other delicious treats from the small kitchen at our Aldeburgh shop.

Kim has been part of the team for over 10 years, before which she ran her own business making cakes for farm shops and other local outlets.

Kim’s favourite cheese is Delice de Bourgogne.

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Ash Brooks

Ash is chief barista, fuelling the Suffolk coast with great coffee. 

Ash has been passionate about coffee since he was at school. His coffee of choice is a proper espresso and having completed Monmouth Coffee's barista training he can make it to perfection!

Ash also loves good cheese and says Montgomery Cheddar is his favourite.

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Tina Robinson

Tina is a well known face in Aldeburgh and has been part of the team for over 13 years. She is a font of local stories, humour and knowledge.

Tina’s favourite cheeses are Shipcord and Sharpham's.

 
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John Ormerod

John is joint owner of Slate with his daughter, Clare. A novice in the food and retail sectors, other than as a customer and enthusiast for cheese, John is excited to be learning a new business.

John and his wife Pamela have been coming to Suffolk for over 30 years.  With eight grandsons and two granddaughters as regular visitors, life in Walberswick is rarely quiet. 

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Robert Ormerod

Robert, Clare's brother, has moved from Yorkshire to Suffolk to join the family business and help to launch the Southwold shop.

Like his father, John, and sister, Clare, Robert’s background is as an accountant. He is pleased to now be working in a smaller business and meeting customers everyday. Robert says he has lots to learn about cheeses and but is enjoying every minute (mouthful). His current favourite cheese is a Suffolk local, Fen Farm Dairy’s Baron Bigod.

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Jonathan Piers-Hall

Jonathan, known as Jonj, works in our Aldeburgh shop part time. 

Jonj previously ran gastro-pubs and a wine bar.  He now balances his time between catering work and looking after his two children.  Jonj spent his early years in the Périgord region of France.

 
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Julie Barnes

Julie works behind-the-scenes at Slate, looking after our online orders and other important things/admin to keep us all on track.

Before joining us in May 2017, Julie ran her own face painting business for 14 years, but has now hung up her brushes which gives her time to enjoy weekends caravanning with her family. 

Julie is a big fan of Kim’s fresh salads especially the beetroot salad and her favourite cheese is feta.

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Jennifer Love

Jennifer joins the Slate Southwold team after a fulfilling career in marketing and advertising. Jennifer is passionate about food and its provenance. 

Jennifer loves spending time with her family and enjoys living by the Suffolk coast. She’s a keen cook and as well as serving in the shop she will be helping Kim in the Slate kitchen. She particularly likes the sweet, salty and umami tastes of Vietnamese food. Her favourite dish is a chilled salted chocolate ganache served in vintage china cups, topped with a gold spray to make them really impressive.

Her favourite cheese is Old Ford, an extraordinary goat’s cheese from Somerset.