Ottery St Mary is a vibrant food town in the heart of East Devon. I've run this family owned enterprise since 1989 and have been a butcher for the last 43 years. My wife and son both work with me and help to run the business.
The fields surrounding the town provide the shop with a large amount of the meat we sell. Since day one we have striven to bring this network of small traditional farmers together under one roof. Being able to do this is is a great pleasure as I know how many families and livelihoods are intertwined with rearing this meat.
Such long standing relationships with all our suppliers means that we not only benefit from an extremely short and fully traceable supply chain that results in minimal stress to the animals, but, just as importantly, we can cut this meat freshly to your exact specifications and offer advice on how to get the best from it.
Our grass fed Aberdeen Angus beef is reared by Philip Hayman at Raxhayes Farm on the outskirts of Ottery. This breed has a great flavour, a good covering of fat and the meat is fabulously marbled. Dry ageing on the bone for 3 weeks, sometimes more, lets the flavour really develop into something quite special.
Cotleigh Farm, run by Helen and Lester Bowker, is less then 5 miles away as the crow flies and this is the home of our grass fed lamb as well as some very contented beef. Ark Chicken at Silverton is another ethically driven Devon success story – Jason Wise has been supplying us for 15 years now. His free range Hubbards are a slow growing breed (6 weeks longer than a conventional bird) and this ensures a much better flavour that we are happy to pay a premium for.
Our pork comes courtesy of Colin Gibbins at Coleshayes Farm near Fairmile. Reared outdoors and fed on kale and cereals, their diet couldn’t be better. Likewise, the high welfare and extremely free range ducks from Creedy Carver at Crediton. I have dealt with the Coleman family for 20 years now and their birds, an Aylesbury Cross, are full of flavour and make for very tender eating.
Infact, the majority of the meat we sell is born and bred in the same parish – quite literally the shortest of journeys from field to plate.