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60 Seconds with Owen Pillinger

60 Seconds with Owen Pillinger

Owen and Mike own the charming Partisan Deli in Guildford, based in Chapel Street. We are extremely happy to have Partisan supplying us with their beautifully curated selection of cheeses. This month, we met up with Owen to learn more about their business.


Tell us more about Partisan and its mission.

We have a few key missions at Partisan; our main one being that we want to sell the tastiest cheese possible. We aim to be as local as possible to get the best of British produce; Tunworth, Old Winchester and Maida Vale are amongst some of our most popular local cheeses. However, speciality cheese such as our wine-washed Gruyere and our ever-popular Gorgonzola need to be sourced from elsewhere to get the variety and cater to our customer’s wide-ranging tastes. We feel like cheese curators, bringing the best produce from regions and countries to our customers.


How did you and Mike get to know one another? What was the story behind your business partnership?

Mike and I first met in 2006 at an office party. We soon discovered that we were both crazy about food – the huge Fougerus cheese that I brought to that first party was a big talking point, and we soon started to host dinner parties, exchanging food and food stories.

Midway through 2015 we began to discuss founding a food business – we decided to combine forces and our mutual enthusiasm to set up a deli, which is now Partisan.


Why did you decide to specialise in cheese?

Our Latin motto, ‘manducare amplios caseum’ literally means ‘eat more cheese’! We are both vaguely obsessed with cheese…. Make that pretty much addicted. Who doesn’t love cheese? There’s so much variety; you could never become bored.


What do you particularly love about your work?

Other than being around all the lovely cheeses, our regular community is fantastic. Sometimes customers pop in just for a chat, and we love that.


What inspires new ideas at Partisan?

We’d love to have the opportunity to be around each other more to kick ideas around. Our cheese counter moves seasonally and our job is always a balancing act of making sure the counter is well-composed, both in flavours and look.


What would be your dream for the business?

We’ve thought a lot about partner complimentary businesses – such as a bakery, a much bigger wholesale side to the business and possibly a café where our customers can go and chat more about our produce.


How have you found working with The County Club?

They’re very reliable and easy-going; right from the start they have been very open to trying new products. We often supply The County Club with cheeseboards for special events, working directly with the chef to pick out the best-placed products for Club members to try out.


To visit Owen and Mike, their shop is to be found at:

14a Chapel St

Or for enquiries, email or phone 01483 567998


Get in touch

Call, email or use our online form to get in touch with The County Club. We will endeavour to respond quickly to your questions, enquiries about Club facilities and suggestions you may have.