In the 1800s, butcher shops were common on High Streets of all sizes. Most of them specialised in pork. This was because almost every part of a pig could be used for something. These shops became a reliable source of food and even introduced the concept of trade.
The origin of this type of shop can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Butchers were often able to buy fresh meat from local farmers. While they may not be as common as they were in the past, today’s butcher shops still provide a valuable service to people.
However, the past few decades have seen a drastic change in the industry. In the 1960s, butcher shops began to close. They were replaced by meat-packaging plants. By the late 2000s, only 7,100 remained. Today, however, there are almost ten thousand supermarkets across the United Kingdom. In 2009, the BSE outbreak had a devastating effect on the meat industry. The outbreak made it difficult for UK beef to sell abroad and limited bone-in cuts for sale.
The history of butchers began in the United Kingdom around 500 AD. In those days, butchers were considered important and apprenticed to become journeyman tradesmen. During this time, Europeans began to understand the importance of hygiene and food preparation.
What Are the Biggest Chains of Butchers Shops?
When it comes to meat, there are a number of big players in the UK, including chains and independents. The UK high street has fallen in recent years, with independent butchers unable to compete with the efficiencies of large businesses, such as supermarkets. According to the New Economics Foundation, it is the end of the small shop. As of 2010, however, there were still over 7,100 butchers left in the UK.
The business of butchery is precarious, which is why many butchers operate their shops as adjuncts to other businesses, such as restaurants and meat wholesalers. The East London Steak Company, for example, recently bought M&R Meats in Clerkenwell, a butcher shop that specialised in steak. The new owners include Richard Turner, the executive chef of Hawksmoor steak restaurants.
Macelleria as the Italians call butcher’s shops, have a long history. In the old days, people knew their butchers by name. The shopkeeper would talk to them about fresh meat and how to cook it. Large supermarkets replaced butchers, but the sustainable food and farm-to-table movements have helped bring back the old-school butcher shop.
Butcher shops also offer pre-cooked meat solutions to their customers, which may lead to repeat business. Some of these include pre-seasoned chicken wings and pre-stuffed chickens. The convenience of butcher shops can make life easier for busy people.