Clitheroe mourns death of much-loved businesswoman 'Cheesie Jan'

Tributes have been paid to a prominent Clitheroe cheesemonger and baker who helped put Clitheroe on the map for specialist food.

By Faiza Afzaal
Friday, 4th February 2022, 3:45 pm

Remembered locally as "Cheesie Jan" after opening Cheesie Tchaikovsky in 2003 on York Street, mother-of-two Jan Curtis brought her natural creativity, vast knowledge and love for sharing food and flavours to the Ribble Valley - attracting customers from far and wide.

In 2010, the business relocated to new premises off Castle Street, to introduce the cheese room, artisan breads, a cafe and intimate baking courses. Driven by the act of sharing, Jan believed that "Eating is not merely a material for pleasure - eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes to goodwill and immensely happy companionship".

In 2017, Jan was a judge at the World Cheese Awards whilst heading up the delicatessen at Holmes Mill.

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The late Jan Curtis

After growing up in Norfolk, she moved to Southampton after meeting her husband on the Isles of Scilly. Then raised her children in Hebden Bridge where she developed a passion for all things cheese!

Jan was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in early November 2021. She died at home surrounded by her family on January 28th, aged 61.

Paying tribute, her former colleague Suzannah, said: "Those who had the pleasure to meet Jan or taste her food will know she was one of those special souls you only meet occasionally in life. “

Jan never held back from accepting a challenge, relishing her cycle rides through Cuba and China to raise money for Genesis Research Trust (funding the research for better health of women and babies), and later undertook a trek in Uganda to raise money for the protection of mountain gorillas. Here, she ran impromptu bread making courses for the locals.

Jan's husband, Adrian, added: "As family and friends we are blessed to have been part of Jan's life and all it has given us. We would like to thank the nurses and friends who supported Jan throughout this time."

A funeral service will be held on February 22nd at Skipton Crematorium, followed by a wake at The Tempest Arms. Jan is survived by Adrian, and her children, Graham and Jessye.