Director Simon Barker has taken over 100% control of the Stanforths butchery business, including the meat production unit at Skipton Auction Mart and the well-known retail shop on Mill Bridge, Skipton. The move became effective on 1 January 2015.
Previously a 50% shareholder, Simon has bought butcher Robert Hart’s half share in the business.
Robert, from Sutton-on-Craven, has worked for Stanforths since leaving school. His 33-year career has been spent entirely in the butcher’s shop – renowned near and far for its pork pies – which he has run for many years. Robert turns 50 next May and says he will be looking for a new direction in life.
Himself a lifelong butcher, Simon, 41, is rebranding the mart’s CCM Quality Foods operation under the long-established Stanforths name and has major plans for the development and expansion of the business.
As well as continuing to operate a private cutting service for local farmers and farm shops at its fully EC-registered on-site cutting plant, Simon says he will be looking to expand the catering supply side of the operation.
In addition to our own shop, we supply prime beef and lamb that I buy personally at Skipton Auction Mart extensively into the local hospitality sector – restaurants, pubs and hotels – along with locally sourced gammon and bacon, which I also source in person from Selby Livestock Auction Mart. Retired pig farmer Keith Hardcastle, from Darley, buys pigs for me at Wharfedale Farmers Auction Mart in Otley.
Towards the end of last year, Simon judged the Christmas prime pig show at Selby and followed up by purchasing his chosen title-winning porkers, while Mr Hardcastle bought the reserve champion pigs at Otley. All were for customers’ festive tables.
Simon also regularly judges and buys prize-winning primestock at Skipton.
We will have an ongoing requirement for cattle and lambs each week at Skipton as the business develops. We are also buying around 80 pigs a week and expect this demand to grow.
All our meat is sourced from Yorkshire and we have a great relationship with CCM and the other marts I deal with, who are always keen to meet our requirements, as well as with local farmers.
The catering arm of the business currently covers a trading area taking in the Yorkshire Dales, Harrogate and across into north-east Lancashire.
We are looking to grow and have identified opportunities to both strengthen our footprint in our current trading areas and expand into new ones across the region.
Born and bred in Darley in Nidderdale – he now lives in Hampsthwaite – Simon first got a taste for the butchery world as a 14-year-old when undertaking work experience at Weatherhead’s Butchers in Pateley Bridge.
On leaving school, he joined Layfields & Sons Butchers in Knaresborough, later working for R&J Catering Butchers in Kirkby Malzeard, north of Ripon, before returning to Pateley Bridge and Kendalls Farm Butchers.
He was appointed manager of CCM Quality Foods’ on-site meat production unit in August, 2004, and became a director five years ago.
Stanforths currently employs 20 people both at the mart and in the butcher’s shop. “We are moving onwards and upwards – and going all out to spread the word that Stanforths is much, much more than just a pie shop!” added Simon.