Popular Suffolk butcher reveals plans to open new village shop
PUBLISHED: 12:36 01 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:53 01 February 2020
A well-known Suffolk butcher has revealed exciting plans to breathe life back into the home of a family-run butchers which closed at the end of last year.
Gerard King, the owner of the popular Salter and King in Aldeburgh, is opening a new butchers in the village of Peasenhall.
The new shop will be moving into the former J R Creasey butchers, which sadly closed down in November last year citing a decline in trade.
The butchers had been owned by Jeremy Thickitt's family since 1967, but he shut it for good following a lack of parking in the village and the rise of veganism.
More: Suffolk butchers' closes its doors after 52 years
Gerard King, 50, is now around six weeks away from opening his second Salter and King branch in the old store in The Causeway - which he hopes will become a "trusted community hub".
"A butchers is such an important role in a small community," said Mr King, who grew up in one owned by his father in Hackney.
"There has never been a more important time to support local communities and farmers by keeping small, independent shops alive. They become a trusted hub in country life as well as an invaluable counter-point to the faceless rise in internet shopping."
Mr King says his successful butchers in Aldeburgh, which he took over in 2013, is all down to "offering the community good meat and really looking after them".
"It's all about a craft butchers," he said. "Sourcing our produce from local farms and having a short supply chain is really important."
He buys his meat from small local farms to keep food mileage to a minimum and focuses on livestock that has been grazed on meadows unsuitable for agriculture.
Mr King says he has seen a change in customer over the years, as nowadays more people want to know where their meat comes from.
"People want good local meat which is not out of the packet and is with the greatest respect for the farmers and the animals they are rearing," he said.
"Many people, rather than not eating meat at all, want to ensure they are not eating commercial meat. They also want to know that they are not destructing the environment but they are enhancing it."
Mr King says that his main focus for Peasenhall is giving customers an experience, with "nice meat and nice chat".
His mantra is all about going back to the old-fashioned way of buying meat.
He grew up visiting Smithfield Market, which played a huge part in the working lives of Gerard, his father and grandfather. Their daily visits to the iconic market, usually at 3am to get meat from their favourite suppliers, shaped his early experience of butchery and left him with an abiding passion for the industry.
"It's a shopping experience," he said. "The countryside community needs this kind of thing."
He is hopeful that the new butchers in Peasenhall will be open to the public by the beginning of March.