Primula Cheese has recently welcomed new Product Innovation Manager Peggy van Rooyen to our Team Valley headquarters in Gateshead.

Originally from South Africa, Peggy is a trained chef, having studied at the esteemed Ballymaloe Cookery School, in County Cork, Ireland, following which she worked as a sous chef at celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurant group in London, before becoming a private chef catering for events and high net worth individuals across Europe.

Peggy joins our newly created Innovation Department which will be dedicated to ensuring Primula Cheese is focusing on the changing needs of our customers.

Innovation and creating new products are both areas Peggy is familiar with, having previously established the ground-breaking Glamour Puds, a manufacturer of award-winning gluten, dairy and soya-free desserts.

More recently she has carried out a series of freelance innovation projects in the UK, USA and Ireland, including for one of the UK’s largest confectionary producers.

Peggy said: “I’ve got my ideal role. I’m creative and passionate about food so this role truly plays to my strengths.

“What I’m great at is the ideas – what we can do, what processes we have that we can explore to the benefit of the brand. Primula is such a strong product to start with that it provides us with a multitude of opportunities, all of which I’m excited to explore.”

Lisa Thornton, Head of Marketing at Primula, said: “Primula is an ambitious company, however to develop our growth plan we knew we needed to invest in getting under the skin of how we are perceived and where we sit within the category.

“It’s been an incredibly insightful process which has meant we now have a clear vision of where we want to be over the coming years which will become a reality thanks to Peggy joining our team.

“Our new Innovation Department is central to Primula’s business strategy and, while we’ve had New Product Development teams previously, we see this as a vital element to our business so are exploring a different approach and we can’t wait to see the results.”