This in my parlance is what I’d call a proper butcher. With no airs and graces the guys in here do service with a smile, they know the locals and always quick with a joke. The prices feel honest and true, and you get the feeling of family values and of a time when people always shopped locally. I’ve been in the queue on Christmas Eve to hear that people have driven across town just to get to this butchers shop.
I looked for a website to share a link, in true form this butcher doesn’t have one and it pleases me to know that their reputation is enough. With a bit of digging I came across the Grange Association website that makes a mention of the store setting up in 1902 by Andrew Mathieson, with a little history of Ratcliffe Terrace and how it came to be. I wonder if the house I’m living in built in 1895 were customers of the same shop when it opened?
It’s only now as I write this that I realise you can smell the history when you walk in, the floors are wooden and the little accounts office still sits neatly against the wall, sometimes with a man in it reading a trashy newspaper. The signs have the old script painted with the various cuts labelled and a space for the chalk price. Don’t come in with an idea of buying six thighs because the Sunday supplement calls for it. The cuts here are traditional, if you want chicken pieces they are jointed there and then. I don’t see this as a bad thing, more a nod to sustainability and staying true to one’s trade. The exception I know of though is the chicken breast which I know they buy in to meet the demand. Venison is kept in the freezer and so are the beef ribs (which I bought once…to try a recipe I’d seen in a supplement!)
Links: Grange Association