Axminster butcher proves the cattle men wrong

09:00 26 February 2014

Shaun Vining outside his first Complete Meats shop in Axminster, opened 25 years ago. Photo by Chris Carson

Shaun Vining outside his first Complete Meats shop in Axminster, opened 25 years ago. Photo by Chris Carson

Archant

Complete Meats founder celebrates 25 years in business and announces further expansion plans

When Shaun Vining opened his first butcher’s shop in Axminster it was the day of the annual fatstock show - and farmers in the cattle market opposite were heard taking bets about how long his business would last.

Now, 25 years later, he has two more shops in Honiton and Chard, a bakery, an EC licensed cutting plant at Millwey Rise and employs 60 staff.

And there are plans for more expansion as the company celebrates a quarter of a century of successful trading.

Mr Vining started in the meat industry as a youngster, first helping out in his uncle’s business in Somerset, before securing a Saturday job.

Deciding that a career in the meat industry was for him, he gained a place at the Smithfield College, learning the technical side of the trade.

In 1989, after jobs in various sectors in the UK and abroad, he decided the time was right to have a go himself and took the lease on his first shop in South Street, Axminster.

He opened on the day of the Christmas fatstock show and recalls hearing farmers betting on how long he would last.

“Twenty-five years later I am still here but the market is now gone,” he said.

“When I took the lease I felt there was a good chance that I could build the retail side of the business up and then be in a position to start supplying the local catering sector.

“It has been hard work and lots of hours. Over the last 25 years I have invested everything back into the business, opening my second shop just before foot and mouth hit. This was a scary time but we pulled through. Now I have three shops - Chard, Axminster and Honiton - a bakery and an EC licensed cutting plant and employ 60 staff.

“I started going to the product competitions many years ago this gave me a chance to benchmark our products against what the experts and judges say. We had success early on with Gold Awards but I wanted to really be able to shout about my products by winning not just a category but best overall product. I really listened to the judge’s comments - it turned out it is very often only one point that makes the difference and 99 out of a 100 is not good enough.

“Last year I was invited to be a judge myself at the launch of British Sausage Week in Smithfield Market in London which was a real honour.

“We are continuing to expand our factory unit in Axminster so that we can offer other products in the future, as well as launch a new online shop to enable nationwide delivery.”

2 comments

  • Best meat I've ever tasted! An excellent business, well done Shaun.

    Report this comment

    paul

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Best meat I've ever tasted! An excellent business, well done Shaun.

    Report this comment

    paul

    Monday, March 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 11:00
The Read Easy Honiton team at Honiton Library.

The scheme helps adults who either can’t read or who lacks confidence with reading.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:59
Pictured (l to r) Debbie Humberstone (founder), Flo Coleman Tom Metcalf (volunteers), Kerry Cable (mental health support worker), Matthew Lathey, Nigel Collins, Grant Jones (volunteer).

Axminster based young persons’ mental health charity receives more than £2,000 after 300-mile marathon

Read more
Thu, 17:00
Members of Honiton and District Lions Club are celebrating another cracking fundraising year. Photo by Bob Francis.

The group has been a strong presence on community days, putting on a popular classic car rally at the annual Charter Day celebrations, and hosting the ever-popular duck race in Weston.

Read more
Thu, 14:59
Pictured at the crossing (l to r) Keith Mitchell, tram car inspector; PC Steve Lee  and Lee Taylor, engineering and operations manager Seaton Tramway nspect the new CCTV installation Picture: SUBMITTED

Police crackdown on red light jumpers after car hits tram at the Colyford road crossing

Read more
Thu, 12:45
Rob and Steve outside a DAAT shop.

Rob Conabeer and Steve Wilson made it to their final shop at 7.45pm, after setting off in the morning.

Read more
Thu, 07:55
Beryl Denham

‘It’s incredibnly sad but the the time has come to retire gracefully,’ says chairman Beryl Denham

Read more
Wed, 17:30
Tesco community champion Louisa Littlewood and store manager Leanne Eamshaw with The King's Centre food bank manager Teresa Hawkes. Ref mhh 3169-35-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

More than 50 boxes were filled throughout last weekend and donated to the food bank.

Read more
Wed, 11:17
Supermarket trolley

The revelation has been heralded as a ‘blessing in disguise’ by the town’s chamber of commerce chairman.

Read more
Wed, 11:16

Are your children addicted to TV or computer games? Do they rarely stir from the sofa? Are they getting enough exercise? With the children back at school this week, it’s the perfect time for them to get fitter.

Read more
Wed, 07:39
Exeter Magistrates' Court

Woman left upset after pensioner exposed himself

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition


Honiton's trusted business finder