Butcher moves his two shops into one in Wickham and gets refurbishment and rebrand

THE owner of two butchers shops has closed one and expanded the other in order to grow the business.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 6:05 am

Meon Valley Butchers opened yesterday morning following a complete renovation of their Wickham site, closing Harriotts of West Meon.

Harriotts was a butchers, bakery and a delicatessen, and the bakery has now been installed in Wickham, a wooden floor laid down and a new display formed in the front window.

Owner Ben Sawyers has lived in the Wickham area all his life, and even did his work experience at the shop when he was 16.

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Meon Valley Butchers in The Square, Wickham, reopened on Tuesday, January, 7 after a refurbishment. Picture: Sarah Standing (070120-4540)

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He said: ‘It's been pretty busy today, pretty hectic. We wanted to get it off the ground running but we still have a few things to put in.

'It needed an update. I took over seven years ago and there were things that I wanted to do, so we wanted to give it a facelift. These changes have been seven years in the making.’

The refurbishment took four days to complete, following the closure of Harriotts on December 30, to focus on one flagship store, which was previously known as Tull’s Fine Foods.

Meon Valley Butchers in The Square, Wickham, reopened on Tuesday, January, 7 after a refurbishment. Pictured is: (l-r) Michelle Novak, baker, Ben Sawyers, owner, and Rob Holbrooke, delivery driver and support. Picture: Sarah Standing (070120-4562)

Ben added: 'We have three staff now and between the three of us it was a bit much to run the two stores, so it seemed like a good idea to focus on one and get it right.

‘Now we have merged to two shops to make one great shop.

‘We used all local workmen and everyone we had in was really good and worked hard.We used all local workmen and everyone we had in was really good and worked hard.’

The shop will continue to deliver foods to the West Meon area and all of their meats are sourced from Hampshire.

Michelle Novak ran the bakery at the West Meon branch and has now moved to the Wickham store and said: 'I never dreamed of this. When I first started working for Ben two years ago I was making 20 pies a week, now I'm making about 100 pies and 80 scotch eggs a week.'

The butchers shop is believed to be one of the oldest shops in Wickham square, and won The News’ Butcher of the Year award in 2015 and 2017.