ANDY Bishop wanted a change of career so now he sells sausages instead of car servicing.
Andy used to be service manager at Rawlinson Renault, with 20 motor trade years behind him, but now is the man behind the counter of the Hubbard’s Pork Shop van. He can be found at Bury St Edmunds Wednesday market outside Superdrug and near Specsavers on Saturdays.
His career change involves working with his brother-in-law, Dave Hubbard, who owns the Hubbard’s Pork Shop, in Out Westgate Street, Bury. By taking the shop out into the markets of Bury, Thetford and Wymondham they are able to expand the business’ trade in spite of the difficult parking around the shop.
Naturally, his purpose-built van, with its five built-in fridges, is based on a Renault Master chassis cab. “I couldn’t order it until I’d put my notice in,” he recalls, but it was still ready for him to go into business about 18 months ago.
Andy seems happy with his move and says: “Servicing was a distress purchase and you were the worst person in the world because their car wasn’t working. But now they’re coming because they want to.
“I love talking to the customers. I’ve met some good characters and it builds a rapport.”
In spite of the name, Hubbards does all kinds of meat, from beef to chicken, plus meat or fruit pies, cheese and pickles, as well as a selection of Dave’s 25 different types of sausage. Andy says what he stocks on the van is largely based on selling experience, but Dave will not let him take anything he feels is not ready.
For this is proper butcher’s meat that has been hung to bring out its flavour. Andy picks up a piece of ribeye steak and points out its almost Burgundy colour and dry surface.
“When you buy in a supermarket, it’s got to be bright red and bloody,” he said. “Dave won’t let me take it if it’s not well hung and ready.
“With all the pork being free range, the pigs take longer to mature, because they walk about, so the meat tastes better. People recognise that and they’ll come back and say how good it was.”
With the limited space in the van, working out how much of what he needs to take can be an art. He says Wednesday and Saturday customers are different, with the latter more likely to want roasts than sausages. But it is also weather dependent, so good barbecue weather will increase the demand for flavoured ribs.
“If some top TV chef has done, say, roast pork belly, they’ll all want that,” he said. “If you are unaware of it, it can catch you out, but with the shop, if I run out I can always ring up and on a Saturday the nephews are usually there and can bring more over.”
However, if customers want something in particular they can either order Wednesday and pick up Saturday or ring Andy on 07867 784468 and he will put it on the van.