Can you believe it has been 10 years since our Farm Butchery was opened?
We asked owners Sally and Robert Bendall to tell us a little bit about the journey of the Butchery, and where it is now, compared to where it began…
‘When all our Farm Shop friends were putting in their own Butchery departments, we at Hollow Trees Farm held back a bit. We had a system that worked. Growing our own livestock sending them off to Bramfield Meats to butcher and wrap the meat for us to sell from our chest freezers. A simple system that worked well.
We had just opened the Farm Café in 2010ish. For a Farmer to open a food outlet was a huge learning curve. This left us feeling ‘do we really want to go through all of the stress of opening another department?’. Then one day we had a meeting with Jane Dale of M.E.A.T Ipswich, (a highly respected Butchery training business) who continue to work with our apprentices today.
Jane pointed out some of the butchery produce was not up to the high standards of the rest of our Farm Shop. This was the kick we needed to start planning the Farm Butchery…As it turned out, compared to running a café, the Butchery was relatively straight forward. We had learnt some lessons on our previous journeys.
We were amazingly fortunate to be contacted by Anthony Gellard, who previously worked at Ruse and Son’s (Ruse’s) in Long Melford. He had learnt we were starting our own Butchery.
We had a first Class Butcher…but no Butchery! The solution was to employ Anthony on the Farm until we built the Farm Shop extensions, and cold storage, to house the butchers. From there, there has been no looking back.
Over the last decade, Anthony has been joined by fellow Leader, James, Butcher David and Butchery Assistant Tina. He has trained our apprentices, Jamie, (who finished his apprenticeship in 2021 to qualify as a Butcher), and Alex (who has nearly finished his Apprenticeship).
The Farm has expanded its livestock production to keep up with demand.
The Butchery Team continued to work through Covid, with Robert transporting the livestock to the abattoir, along almost deserted roads.
Hopefully that is now in the past, and we look forward to serving you exemplary meat for another 10 years.
Sally and Robert ‘