Day in the Life - We speak to Rory Mellis, director of I.J. Mellis cheesemonger

Rory Mellis – the director of iconic Edinburgh cheesemonger I.J. Mellis – tells us about his cheesy life.


Lockdown has been a fairly strange time for the business. We saw a large proportion of our sales convert to our online platform.

While the majority of people may have taken a rest, life at Mellis has been fairly full on for the past year. I live quite close by to our head offices so I head in for 5:30am. The team at our Maturing Rooms usually begin their day at 6am, so I like to have a coffee and settle before the day begins.

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I try and get as much admin done as possible before the rest of the world wakes up. Emails, payroll, price checking, system and online management – it all seems to have accelerated since the world has moved to virtual life.


Usually a few coffees deep by now I will go downstairs and chat with the warehouse manager Mikey to see if there are any changes regarding deliveries, the cheese supply or just general maintenance and how the day ahead is looking.

Our stores are normally opening by now, so after I finish my admin tasks I catch up with our store managers. During lockdown this was usually done on the phone to limit my contact with multiple staff members. I would try to grab a chat with our wholesale manager, James, over yet another coffee.

Rory Mellis of I.J.MellisRory Mellis of I.J.Mellis
Rory Mellis of I.J.Mellis


A quick bite to eat. It’s often cheese off-cuts or a nice sandwich from Polentoni, which is luckily based around the corner from our Maturing Rooms on Easter Road. Their mortadella and mushroom sandwich is my favourite.


Things start to wind down at the Maturing Rooms. Often I would use this time to conduct any wholesale meetings with chefs or business owners, as lunch service is usually over. Throughout the past year this has been over Zoom calls – a bit too many for my liking.

Maturing rooms at MellisMaturing rooms at Mellis
Maturing rooms at Mellis


I will usually head home about now to do some exercise. I come from a cycling background, but if I don’t get out for a run these days I don’t tend to sleep as well or I end up continuing to work.

Exercise is a good way of clearing my head after a busy day. Throughout lockdown this was most people’s way of switching off and it’s nice to get out the house and do something ‘normal’.


I would normally make myself a nice quick dinner, again usually cheese-related with some sort of pasta, as well as a beer or a bottle of wine if it’s been an especially long one. After dinner, I try to catch up on any business-related social media work. Nowadays this is integral to showcase our products and producers. During the past year it was a more important tool to keep customers engaged and updated, as rules were constantly changing.


I’m out for the count.

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For more information in IJ Mellis, who have shops in Edinburgh Glasgow and St Andrews, and to shop online, see

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