Award-winning butcher set to retire to fulfil life-long dream
PUBLISHED: 11:07 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:40 11 June 2019
A butcher who has worked in the trade since starting as a Saturday boy is planning to retire and move to Scotland with his wife.
But David Smith, who runs The Butchers Shop and deli in Swanton Morley, serving 600 customers a week, is finalising plans and has been advised it could take up to two years to find a suitable buyer.
He is, therefore, advising his customers: "I'm not closing up any time soon."
David, who will be 65 next month, has worked as a butcher since being taken on as a Saturday boy by the Co-op in North Walsham while still at school.
The Co-op trained him and he worked there before moving to Kent's butchers which was on Market Street in the town. He went on to start his own business and has been in Swanton Morley for the past 13 years.
If all his plans work out, he and wife Nicola, who runs the deli, will move to Caithness and although they have sold their house in Briston, there are still lots of things to sort out and David is even considering keeping on the business if it doesn't sell.
"I'll miss the customers the most," he said. "They love the barbecue meat I do in the summer but also the home-made pies which a chef makes for me. The hours are long and we've always wanted to move to Scotland. Nicola has a bad back and it's getting harder for her to work but we've loved it."
The business has been a huge success, with 600 customers a week and 1,000 at peak times like Christmas. In 2015-16, David spent more than £100,000 refurbishing the deli which sells meats, cheeses and freshly made ice cream using real cream as well as specially produced pickles. jams and chutneys and filled to order baguettes.
They also make their own range of sausages, sausage rolls and pork pies with four members of staff - not including David and Nicola - and hope they can be retained by a new owner. Over the years, David has won several awards, with his rosettes proudly displayed behind the counter.
The business is for sale for £249,995 with commercial agents Hilton Smythe. A spokesman said: "Our client is now looking forward to a well-earned retirement.
"The Butchers Shop prides itself on not only going that extra mile for its customers but also only selling quality local produce and offering fantastic customer service. An ethic that our client has had all his working life and something that his staff truly believe in also."
It added the business was "very profitable" with a turnover of £370,406 as of the 2018 accounts and a net profit of £83,499. The assets being sold with the business are worth in the region of £70,000.
It does offer scope for further development, however, by possibly supplying produce to local businesses including pubs, hotels and nursing homes and also by opening on Mondays, when it's currently closed.