Me and my shop

I began my butchering career 25 years ago, washing up at Broughs Butchers in Ainsdale. From day one, I found the job fascinating and wanted to learn more.

By the age of 16, I was employed full-time by Broughs as a trainee butcher and, within five years, I was promoted to manager of the Birkdale branch. During eight years there, I experienced some serious changes in the trade; marinades and sauces were introduced and value-added products were being created.

At 29, I was given the opportunity to have my own Broughs Butchers' shop in Ormskirk. The premises were originally a run-down butcher's shop, so the potential was there, but a lot of hard work was needed. We opened the shop with two butchers - myself and Ian Bannerman, my manager, and took £300 in our first week of trading. Business was difficult at first, but over the next few months, we managed to overcome this, as customers experienced the high quality of our produce and excellent customer service. Four butchers are now on the team.

Broughs of Ormskirk has won many awards and was a finalist at Butcher's Shop of the Year in 2007, which boosted morale and business. In Ormskirk, we have healthy competition from three supermarkets and three butchers. But we are now serving 1,000 people a week, with some travelling 30 miles to get to us. The highlight of my career came in May 2009, when I created the 'Everton Toffee Mint Sausage'. This received such interest in the national media and locally that profit increased by 40% in May alone.

Butchering is my life and I feel so lucky I learnt the traditional way.

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