Don't miss a story sign up to Midweek Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

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, 14:45
Ian Rangeley, chairman of Seaton and Beer RNLI, with volunteers at the Beer lifeboat week. Ref shb 27-16TI 3453. Picture: Terry Ife

An original painting by an artist from Beer, worth up to £1,400, is up for grabs in a sealed bid charity auction.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Cllr Ian Thomas

East Devon District Council has given away £16,500 to projects applying to its Community Buildings Fund during the 2015/16 year.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:04
The new Seaton fitness centre. Picture CHRIS CARSON

It’s ‘An exciting time to be involved in Seaton’, says LED area manager Marcus Allen

Read more
Wed, 17:00
Pupils got to see a police dog in action.

The year six youngsters learned about what the dogs do on a day-to-day basis and, at the end of the presentation, were treated to a display in the playground.

Read more
Wed, 12:08
NATIONAL EXPRESS - 45 YEARS OLD
Pictured the August 7th 1965 Wedding Photo Album of Brian Lewis & Patricia Cavanagh at St Clements Church. The Photographic album was handed in after being found at Birmingham Coach Station and National Express would like to reunite the album with the family
FOR FURTHER DETAILS CONTACT: Ros Golds on  0121 460 8419 / 07825 976 593 or rosalyn.golds@nationalexpress.com
Picture by Adam Fradgley

A coach company is appealing to reunite a wedding album with its rightful owner – ahead of what would be the couple’s 51st anniversary.

Read more
Wed, 11:38
Ref mhz Honiton Show promo.

Porkies family butchers are giving away a £50 voucher for your best picture

Read more
Wed, 11:00
Dutch student Lisa van Aalst and Countryside Team Leader Steve Edmonds at Seaton Wetlands

Lisa van Aalst, an international development student from a university in the Netherlands, has spent two weeks in Seaton, as part of an eight-week research project.

Read more
Wed, 09:13
Pictured (l to r) Cllr Iain Chubb (EDDC Environment portfolio holder), Cllr Jim Knight (Seaton ward member), Mike Ruiter (Seaton Jurassic), Simon Harris (EDDC).

The Underfleet West long stay park will help meet peak demand, say council chiefs

Read more

Gallery: Hot Pennies 2016

Tue, 17:28
Honiton hot pennies. Ref mhh 30-16TI 4894. Picture: Terry Ife

A bumper crowd turn out for Honiton’s Hot Pennies

Read more
Tue, 17:00
The new Dares Filed afforable homes scheme at Kilmington

Eleven much-needed affordable homes for local people to rent have been completed at Kilmington.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

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

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications