My husband, Roland, and I left our London media jobs in December 2008 to move back to Roland’s family’s farm in Worcestershire, where we’re both from originally. We had an idea to try to build a brand that celebrated some of the best meat and farming in the country. We wanted to do this with ‘popular meats’ – like burgers, sausages and ready meals – as much as with steaks and joints so that we could demonstrate how every meat product should use the best farmed and well handled meat.
In September 2010, we started to supply ten of their local Waitrose stores through the Waitrose scheme for small food producers. They are now listed in 140 stores around the country and have five lines online with Ocado.
In 2013, we respectfully turned down Tesco and some other large retailers in favour of opening our own chain of modern Meat Shops. We’re not anti big supermarkets but we don’t rate their meat. We opened our first shop in North London (Crouch End) in May 2014, and our second in Muswell Hill in April 2016. The third is opening in Autumn 2016.
The shops look very different to traditional butchers, as one put customer it, “You’re doing with high street butchery what The Body Shop did with chemists…”. Indeed, rather than traditional butchery, it’s an alternative to mass and supermarket meat. No blooded whites or cleavers, they’re all kept in our own production factory in East London. People who like traditional butchery will still go to those. We’re interested in the 90% of meat being bought from supermarkets, almost entirely packaged, and trying to offer a real alternative to that.
So we match the supermarket opening hours (9am to 9pm, 7 days a week) as well as work really hard to match the prices of good meat lines in supermarkets too. We can do that with much better meat because we buy from the farms, through four abattoirs, then we own the factory, and we own the shops. So no one in between, no head offices, no warehouses, no lorries going up and down motorways, and no third party overheads to factor in.
To read more about our meat sourcing, please click here.
About Miranda (me!)
If you’ve visited our shops already, you’ve probably met me – I talk a lot, given the chance, and get disproportionately excited about things like our dry-ageing fridge, butchery techniques and meat recipes.
Though my husband is the farmer’s son, I’m actually the butcher. He’s the brains of the operation and runs the business. I love the meat, the sourcing, the recipes and being in the shops. If you would like to talk to me about any of these, or just to ask a question about meat, please do! Use this form and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
I’ve been really lucky to work for an amazing publisher, Ryland, Peters & Small, on four books. My most recent book, Modern Meat Kitchen is the biggy – half of it is a study into meat, including my respectful claim that ‘There’s no such thing as a vegan'(!) and then 100 meat recipes, ordered so that they fit whatever timeframe you have to work with, and recipes for leftovers when you have them.
The publishers do all the work to get it listed so you’ll find it in Waterstones, WHSmith, Waitrose, etc and online with Amazon and other delivery book services.
Here I talk a little bit more about the book and why I jumped at the chance to do it.
Click through to order via our online store, or ORDER VIA AMAZON. We offer shipping across the UK, and I can sign or personalise your copy for you as well.