A Fylde coast family is beefing up their high street after opening a butcher’s shop in an area that has not had one for years.
Damion Crook and his wife Kelly say that despite the tough time that some retail zones are having, the time was right to open the meat shop, DK Meats, in Carleton.
Damion said that many people were now looking for locally sourced food and some had lost faith in big supermarkets after a series of bad news stories such as the recent horse meat scandal.
He said his parents had a butcher’s shop in Manchester for many years and after he had moved to Carleton ten years ago he had worked for one of the top independent butchers on the Fylde Coast.
But he had always wanted to run his own businesses and, when the chance came this autumn, he took it.
Damion said: “I wanted to be my own boss. We had been looking for the right premises for a while and when we were on holiday this place became available in Blackpool Road. We put an offer in when we got back.
“It used to be a greengrocers. We have ripped everything out back to the plaster and redid everything ourselves with the help of the whole family. Carleton used to have two butchers but they closed as the supermarkets started to take over.
“They used to undercut local shops, but now they have mostly closed the supermarkets’ prices have risen to pretty much the same.
“We also had the problems such as the horse meat controversy so people are happy to come to a local shop.
“We source our produce locally, the meat is from Garstang. There are a lot of older people in Carleton who remember the area having two butchers shops and they often find it hard to travel to the big supermarkets.”
Damion said he learned his trade at Choice Meats in Dixon Road, Blackpool.
After opening DK Meats shop in Blackpool Road, he said trade had been busy. The shop now also supplies meat to a care home in Poulton with around 120 residents and a couple of local cafes on the industrial estate.
He said he was also keen to get a butcher’s van which he uses to do deliveries for people who struggle to get out and about.
There were 15,000 butchers in the UK in 1990, according to a 2015 report by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.
This fell by 60 per cent to around 6,000 by 2015, but the decline had then begun to stabilise.