When I decided to open a Butchers’ Shop 10 years ago (we’re 8 years old now but it took a couple of years to find our place) the decision came from a very selfish place. There, I said it! Really though, why would anyone think about building a retail business if it wasn't something that they needed to satisfy their own needs and desires? Of course, there must follow a period of establishing whether there is a wider market but ‘self’ is where it starts. I needed to be able to buy meat of the finest quality and value, locally, from a place that I wanted to go to and from people who cared about what they were doing. There wasn't anywhere that ticked these boxes anywhere nearby so I had to put up or shut up.

Sure, there are plenty of supermarkets out there with plentiful parking, shiny cabinets, state-of-the-art air conditioning and aisle after aisle of impressively arranged merchandise. So, with all of that effort and expense, why is the result of doing our ‘big-shop’ at the supermarket (or online for that matter) so soul-destroying? With National Butchers Week coming up soon it’s a good time to run through this checklist……………my TOP 5 reasons why it’s better to shop local & shop indie (the eagle-eyed will spot I’ve squeezed 2 into 1 through this list. I was asked for 5 but I’m not good at doing what I’m told).

Expertise & Knowledge

I employ great Butchers. They have names. I hope that most of our customers know their butcher by name. Jason, George, Gary, Seymour, John (2 John’s as it happens), Darren, Riaan, Oliver, Vincent, Gerry, Liviu, Kelvin and Jay to mention just some of our fine team (I know it’s not very gender-diverse. I wish it were different and if you know any woman interested in the art, point her our way). They come from a variety of backgrounds and with a couple of hundred years combined experience and know-how. You should have a working relationship with your butcher and your butcher with you. Together you can do great things. Our butchers will make sure you leave with great meat, skilfully prepared, to meet your budget and with the tips you need to do that meat justice. They’ll also be able to suggest wines to suit and other accompaniments. You should expect no less.

Quality & Value

Quality does not mean expensive in our shops and it is true that cheap, poor quality (or even average quality) meat is a false economy. You should not find this category of meat in your local butcher’s shop. I actually prefer to cook using the less expensive, more easily affordable cuts that come from top quality stock. For example shoulder, shin and leg all come with that bit of extra fat and bone that produce the deepest flavour and softest texture when cooked patiently. Our ethos should be to eat smaller portions of higher quality meat. The numbers work out.

Traceability & Transparency

Each weekday we source top grade British beef for our customers from our suppliers at London’s Smithfield Market including a variety of English free-range, Scotch and other grass-fed varieties. Most of our pork comes from the herd of free-range Blythburgh pigs reared at St Margaret’s Farm on the picturesque north Suffolk coast. These pigs benefit from being reared for four weeks longer than conventionally reared pigs to allow the delicious flavour and mouth-watering succulence to develop fully. Our lamb is all free-range and comes from sources including the salt marshes of Essex and the lush pastures of Oxfordshire. Our free-range chickens come from specific farms in Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Suffolk. You can see our beef aging in our windows. Nothing is hidden.

Convenience and Variety

It’s a treat to pick up 28-day dry-aged steaks occasionally, the ultimate convenience meal - 10 minutes from fridge to plate (by the way, supermarkets' commercial restraints mean they simply do not hang their meat for long enough - it is on the shelves as quickly as possible after slaughter. This results in the meat being tough and tasteless in comparison to meat that has been properly hung). We also have a cabinet full of oven-ready mini roasts, tagine and kebabs, wok-ready stir fries, pan-ready schnitzel, burgers and sausages as well as other seasonal treats all prepared in our shops and with the purpose of enhancing your home dining whilst allowing you to keep it simple. Throughout the week we provide affordable, easy to cook, delicious, freshly-prepared meals using the finest quality meat. Because we butcher on site, those off cuts of fillet and pork loin find their way into your stir fries and sausages. You lucky people!


What is the point of working hard all week and spending any of your precious spare time anywhere that doesn't fill you with joy? Shopping, even for your groceries, can be interesting, stimulating, sociable and fun. We hope that we’ve developed our business to tick these boxes. Come for a chat, to learn a new skill, to plan your weekly menu and to try something new with the necessary tips and advice from our team of Butchers. Enjoy your local high street. It’s one of our community’s greatest assets. There is a wide and diverse community of amazing independent food retailers on our high streets and we are delighted to be part of that group. We offer our customers an alternative to the soul-destroying supermarket experience. Ours is a place where customers can speak with genuine artisans about fresh, locally sourced produce, premium European cheeses & charcuterie and the wines and accompaniments to match. We try to make shopping a joy!

So there you are. 5 good reasons why I shop at my shop. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!