Frances Pawlett, a skilled cheese maker, of Wymondham, is credited as the person who gave Stilton its first quality and shape standards. Her skill at cheese making and her husbands business acumen led to the first marketing cooperative in the area for Stilton. Frances would come to set the standards other cheese makers would need to meet for blued cream cheese good enough to be marketed as Stilton. Along with the help of Cooper Thornhill, owner of the famous Bell Inn of Stilton, the Pawletts helped build the trade in Stilton cheese to record levels.
Today Stilton is made much the same way as it was in the 1700s. In 1936 an organization, The Stilton Cheese Makers Association, was formed to maintain the quality standards and protect the name of Stilton. Stilton is a trademark and a PDO (protected designation of origin) cheese. This means true Stilton can only be made by authorized creameries operating only in the three counties of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Over a million cheeses a year are made by the six creameries which are authorized to make Stilton.