Carving a niche as a traditional butcher in Bury

Quality is a passion for Paul Humphrey, right, with his Bury staff Trevor Bishop, left, and Stephen Rayson.
Quality is a passion for Paul Humphrey, right, with his Bury staff Trevor Bishop, left, and Stephen Rayson.

Paul Humphrey says he has long wanted to open a traditional butcher’s shop in Bury St Edmunds so when one came up, he jumped at it.

As a third generation meat and livestock dealer, his association with Bury goes back to visiting the town’s livestock market, on what is now the arc, as a child.

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Paul Humphrey and staff at Humphrey's Butchers. Paul has taken over the old Cherrytree butchers for a locally sourced real butcher's shop. Pictured from left Trevor Bishop, Stephen Rayson and Paul Humphrey. ANL-141124-125820009

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Paul Humphrey and staff at Humphrey's Butchers. Paul has taken over the old Cherrytree butchers for a locally sourced real butcher's shop. Pictured from left Trevor Bishop, Stephen Rayson and Paul Humphrey. ANL-141124-125820009

So what was the Cherrytree Butchers, opposite Marks and Spencers in Butter Market, is now the third Humphrey’s butchers. The others are in his home town Saffron Walden and in Braintree.

“We’re very very traditional butchers,” he said. “98 per cent of the meat is carcase meat, we hang it and we cut it ourselves.

“Our Christmas beef is being killed now – that gives you an idea how long we hang it. ”

He points out that supermarket meat is often cut from the carcase soon after slaughter and vacuum packed. Hanging the meat reduces the moisture content and allows it to develop flavour.

Paul selects the meat himself and, with beef and lamb,he selects the live animals on the farms.

By buying meat this way, instead of as packs from a wholesaler, he knows exactly where it comes from.

It also means his butchers can prepare older or unusual cuts for customers.

“I don’t want to hear ‘no, we don’t do that’ in here,” he said.

Most of the meat and game comes from East Anglia. You will see venison, game birds, rabbits and wildfowl.

Paul loves cooking so includes things he wants to cook. This week they had goat for curry.

Paul added: “I want to get my passions across, so we offer butchery courses so people know where the meat comes from and how it is handled.”

Butchery classes will be offered in Bury from after Christmas.

Visit www.humphreysbutchers.com