THE MEAT TRADER is the perfect name for the new butcher’s shop on New Road, Hedon – between them the staff working there represent well over 100 years worth of experience of working in the meat trade.
John Clapham, with 40 years experience himself, is the shop manager and is keen to keep the traditional art of butchery alive but with the benefits of 21st century understanding to help. The shop doesn’t buy in boxed meats, but rather hangs and matures its own. Everything is locally sourced and the shop uses only natural ingredients. Free range products are aplenty with the welfare of animals being paramount. Everything you see on display on the shop counter is prepared on the premises and you can actually see the butchers busy at work at the rear of the building due to the open plan nature of the shop. The shop even boasts its own smoking room for creating smoked products and sausages.
At a time when big-name supermarkets have come under fire for allegedly not knowing where their products come from or what is in them i.e. the horsemeat scandal, then it’s reassuring to know that your local butcher knows everything about what they are selling; where it comes from and how it has been prepared – especially when it’s just been done at the back!
Poultry, lamb, beef, pork is available in all its traditional cuts and joints – there are value packs too, with some vacuum packed on the premises with prices equivalent and competitive to what you would find at the wholesale shops like Makro.
Sausages are a speciality – cooked samples were on offer when I visited – and I opted for my favourite beef and tomato, but after hearing from John about the shop’s own local version of the Merguez, a North African sausage, I tasted a slice and have been won over by the slightly spicy flavour which includes touches of paprika and cayenne pepper.
Providing seafood is another part of the business that should prove popular. The shop will sell the well-known Hull merchants Seasider Seafoods line of products (prawns, mussels, etc) and is likely to be the only outlet in Hedon and district doing so.
Another imminent development will be installing a new barbecued products display unit in the foyer area.
Business owner Garry Bucknall is obviously delighted with the new shop, but it’s more than ‘just a business’, it also represents a return to the town where he spent life as a teenager and where his family has so much history invested too.
Garry’s father Paul Bucknall worked for 26 years for Henry Vies Suggit who had the butcher’s shop in Hedon Market Place. Paul eventually opened his own wholesale poultry and meats business in English Street in Hull. Garry started working for his father as a driver in 1976, but soon progressed to be an equal partner in the business.
The family business moved back to Hedon in 1990 and ran the butcher’s shop at the back of the old Co-op in Market Place. The business operated from there for seven years before leasing changes prompted another move and the Bucknalls have operated various shops since then.
Mr Bucknall Senior still lives in Hedon, and on his frequent trips to the town to see his father, Garry has always bumped into old friends and customers who have quizzed him on when he would return – and now he actually has with the opening of The Meat Trader!
The new shop has opened after a period of really hectic work taking place both night and day after the premises became available. Curious passers-by have seen the former fitness shop transform into The Meat Trader in just a few weeks which has caused quite a lot of interest on local social media.
With its traditional butcher mannequin outside – cheekily referred to as ‘John the Butcher 2’ by other staff members because of its apparent likeness to shop manager John Clapham – and with the staff wearing traditional butcher’s boater hats, and the whole pleasant aroma and atmosphere of the shop, it means that shopping there is really quite an experience.
The Meat Trader, 32 New Road. Hedon, HU12 8EN. Tel: 01482 890707
Mon-Thurs 8.30am – 5.30pm,
Fri 8.30am – 6.00pm,
Sat 8.00am – 4.00pm,
Editor’s Note: There is another butcher shop in Hedon – Andrew Little Butchers is in the Market Place.