Istead Rise Butchers has been serving the local and wider community since 1955. It was originally owned by the Boyson family for many years and then later purchased by the current owner Iain Hartley. They have always strived to serve their customers with the best customer service as well as the best quality meat.
Iain started his career in butchery when he was just 18 after completing his training alongside master butchers in the college of distributive trades, in Smithfield, London. Whilst completing his training he began working alongside the Boyson family. After gaining even more valuable experience and skills in the world of butchery, for a brief period of time Iain did leave Boysons to go and work for a larger commercial butcher, however it didn’t take long for him to realise that he missed working in a local butchers shop with great local connections so he returned back to his roots and restarted work at Boysons.
Iain continued working at Boysons for the next 21 years until the Boyson brothers decided to sell the business to Iain in 2010. Once taking on the business there was a few things that Iain wanted to change. He began focusing on stocking more free range and locally sourced meat. In order to do this, began working with local suppliers based in Northfleet as well as Smithfield meat market in London. To this day they still continue to stock free range and locally sourced meat as well as other products such as eggs and seasonal honey. As a result of using free range meat it allows their products to be far more superior to those found in supermarkets. This is due to the animals being able to be reared on a natural grass fed diet, because of their natural diet the meat is much more tender, leaner and full of flavour. Iain and the team are extremely proud to practice “nose to tail butchery” this means that they offer all cuts of the animal in order to minimise food wastage.
In Iain’s 10 years of owning the business it certainly hasn’t been without its difficulties. Only a few years after taking on the business an elderly motorist crashed through the shop window. Despite damaging the entire shop front as well as their display counters they were only shut for just 1 day while the damage was made safe. However the shop wasn’t out of danger yet! In September 2015 the butchers suffered a severe fire which destroyed or damaged almost every aspect of the shop. During this time they received amazing support from the community with some people even offering to lend a hand clearing out the damage and re building the shop, up against the clock in order to make the necessary repairs before Christmas if they wanted to survive as a business. Luckily they were able to reopen in November with just enough time to take everyone’s Christmas orders before the big day!
More recently the unprecedented challenge of Covid-19 that has effected us all began, since the start of the first lockdown the butchers has had to completely change the way it works, from everything to social distancing in the shop and in the queue right up to contactless home delivery. Due to the rapid increase of demand for fresh meat during the start of lockdown they opened their delivery slots up to those who were self isolating/shielding in the local community. However when demand relaxed back to more manageable levels the butchers are now able to resume offering delivery slots to the wider communities.
During the pandemic the business became much more family run as Iain’s sister as well as his son began working at the shop in order to help deal with the huge demand for quality fresh meat. They have modernised the butchers by purchasing new display fridges and freezers to showcase their hand made products such as sausages, burgers and ready to go meals. They have also began building and designing their own website.
Iain and the team wish to thank the local community for their support and very much look forward to serving them for many more years to come, as well as continuing to create exciting new products for everyone to enjoy.