IONA HILL’S cheese is so good that her first batch of blue cow’s cheese has sold out before it has even matured.

The former accountant runs The Ribblesdale Cheese Company at Hawes business park, North Yorkshire.

The blue, made from Wensleydale milk, is gently matured and was pierced by hand for the first time last week.

Miss Hill said: “It is turned daily and will be ready in about another eight weeks. It’s wonderful our customers trust us so much that they have ordered it before even tasting it.”

Two more batches have since been made and a blue goat’s cheese is also maturing.

The company was founded by Iain Hill – Miss Hill’s uncle – at Horton, in Ribblesdale, in 1978.

He had been made redundant and bought two goats.

A local vet suggested he make yoghurt and cheese from the milk – the result was a small but highly successful, award-winning, cheese company.

At the time Miss Hill was a KPMG accountant, travelling overseas. She was always close to her uncle and in 2006 he asked her to value the business as he was unwell and wanted to sell up.

He was in hospital when she arrived and asked her to run the business while he recovered.

Unfortunately he died but by then Miss Hill had come to love the business and see its potential.

She formally took it over on April 1, 2007, and made it a priority to start making cheese again.

As sales increased she created a larger dairy unit in Hawes in 2008.

Ribblesdale has dedicated suppliers of goats milk – it uses 150,000 litres a year, the equivalent production of 500 goats.

It produces 20 tonnes of cheese a year – 87 per cent goats cheese, ten per sheep and the rest cow’s cheese. The new blue cheeses will increase production to 30 tonnes.

The cheese is sold to local shops, hotels and restaurants and nationally through wholesalers.

Fans include celebrity chef Gary Rhodes and other customers include the Hilton, in Liverpool, and Booths food stores.