Butcher's community spirit is a cut above during lockdown

Colyton butcher Anton Bolton and his wife Beaulah

Colyton butcher Anton Bolton and his wife Beaulah - Credit: Tim White

Popular Colyton butcher Anton Bolton is celebrating the first anniversary of his new business – and what a year it has been.

He launched Anton’s Butchers along with his wife Beaulah just a few weeks before the first lockdown turned normal life on its head. But his commitment to personal service and a determination to look after his customers during the coronavirus pandemic has stood him in good stead as the end of lockdown looms.

The hugely experienced butcher, who has worked in the Axe Valley for nearly 40 years, explained: “We got off to a good start in February last year and trade was going well. Then, when lockdown came, it went mad. We were even busier.

“People who were confined to their homes wanted us to deliver to them. Our older customers didn’t want to come out. So we were out delivering every day – and often, when asked, we would pick up other things for our customers.”

The emphasis on customer service has been rewarded and regular deliveries have become part and parcel of the service.

Anton, who is 55, has a loyal customer base.

He said: “Everyone knows me. Lots of long-established customers come in and new customers have been added to that, among them local farmers. They all know that my meat is local.”

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Anton’s Butchers sells beef from Kilmington farmer Arnold Dare, pork from Simon Price in Sidmouth, chicken from Ross Gardener of Otter Valley Poultry in Upottery and Christmas poultry from Michael and Di Hine near Chard.

Anton also sells the shop’s own mouth-watering homemade sausages and pies. He delivers to customers as far away as West Bay in the east and Sidmouth to the west, as well as Chard and Honiton. And before lockdown, two devotees of his steak and kidney pies would travel from Minehead to get their hands on them.

He said: “The business has gone from strength to strength. We focus on quality. Because we buy the whole animal we can cut all the joints a customer may want.

“And when you really analyse it, I don’t think there’s a great deal of difference between our prices and the supermarkets. But the quality is so much better from your local butcher.”

You can contact Anton’s Butchers on 01297 552192 and the shop is also on Facebook.

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