There is lots of information with regards the background to TMC in the section 'TMC in the press'
For a few years, we (John, Helen and Leon) sold the meat from our own farms to family and friends. Demand quickly grew and we began shipping it, mostly to friends in London via courier. We realised however, that the only way to have full control over the whole process was to have our own butchery. As it happened, John and Helen, had recently bought a buy to let property that had an old, derelict newsagent shop in the basement! Work began in early 2018 to convert this into what we have today - a busy butchery and despatch unit with a small shop front.
Tunstall Meat Company began trading in 2018 under the direction of Robert Hendrix. Robert has a glittering career as an executive head chef for many years, had recently left his role as Head of Catering at Newcastle United and was looking for a new challenge.
We're not your classic high street butcher but, a few years on, we are very much at the heart of the town in terms of our customer base.
In March 2019 when Covid hit and lockdown was announced, we had our farm, our livestock and our small shop, plus a very basic and, looking back, quite inadequate website! Our customers at the time resided mostly in London or were within walking distance of our shop in Richmond. However with lockdown came a real need for people to get food but were suddenly unable to travel, many of them in very isolated, rural areas. Alongside this basic requirement for food came a desire from people to also know and care about the provenance of the food they were buying. Within a couple of weeks of the country being forced into lockdown, Helen our Co Director had designed and launched a new website, something she had no previous experience of! A website that sent a clear message about who we are and what we do. A website that made choosing and ordering our fresh beef, pork, lamb, poultry and pies, extremely quick and easy. New images of all the meat were made by Robert and his sister-in-law, who is a professional photographer. This was a very time consuming task but one that we felt was paramount to the professional look and feel of the website and our marketing. Then came the orders, and the business had to adapt to this sudden increase in demand.
We launched our free local delivery service (within 15 miles radius of the shop and only £20 min order) which was very well received in the local community (and acknowledged by Rishi Sunak). We didn’t at the time have a dedicated driver or even a vehicle to fulfil these orders. It was all hands-on deck. We needed to get our meat to our customers as there was a very real need. We also needed to seize an opportunity to become a supplier people could rely on for their weekly needs, especially as at the time, supermarkets shelves were lacking stock... even more of an opportunity to convert people to using their local butcher and a farm to fork mentality. In the early days of the first lockdown we all mucked in but it soon become clear that we needed to employ a part time driver and buy a refrigerated van. This was achieved fairly quickly and, in addition, an apprentice butcher was sought to help with the workload.
Robert, who runs the shop, was suddenly extremely busy but we can proudly say, every single order was delivered within the time frame we set. Robert, and his team at the shop, had to juggle and adapt very quickly and they did it superbly.
With the growth in the shop, came a need to grow the farm. We can’t suddenly sell more meat if we don’t increase the livestock numbers on the farm. We increased the cattle herd, the sheep and the outdoor pig enterprise and built a new shed for winter housing the cattle. All this since March 2019.
We also felt a need to offer some new products to help meal planning a little easier for busy people who found themselves now permanently working from home. With this came the launch of products such as chicken kievs, Spanish chicken breasts, family sized pies, and garlic and herb filled chicken breasts. All have been well received and many are now our best sellers.
In January 2022 we won The Northern Echo Best Butcher Award which involved being nominated and subsequently voted for by the general public. Again, our success was acknowledged by Rishi Sunak.
In June 2021 the farm featured in the Farmers Mart magazine giving us the opportunity to get our message across about native, pedigree breeds, outdoor rearing, grass fed and slowly matured methods of farming. And in March 2021 we were delighted to be chosen as ‘Farm of the Month’ in the Yorkshire Post. We have many plans for the future of TMC. We continue to improve and update our website and the products we offer. We strive to open up new delivery ‘hubs’ to replicate what we have in Richmond with our ever popular local delivery offering. And, possibly most importantly of all, is to continue to advise people of the benefits of buying from our high welfare, environmentally conscious farm and continue to grow as a native breed farm which, in turn, helps increase numbers so that they may no longer be considered ‘rare breeds’. Obviously for the shop, we look at ways to continue to be a reliable, high quality provider of meat to our community.
All of our beef, pork and lamb comes from our OWN farms at Tunstall, near Richmond and Newton Le Willows near Bedale in North Yorkshire. 😀 We have a fantastic Yorkshire supplier of grain-fed chicken.
We are passionate about native breed animals and are committed to food traceability, low food miles and a very high standard of animal welfare and quality. We farm Belted Galloway and Hereford cattle, and Hampshire Down sheep. We also have outdoor rare breed Berkshire pigs. We have found a great supplier of Yorkshire grain fed chicken and make our own pies and sausage rolls using our incredibly tasty meat.
We are passionate about a number of things;
Fresh Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken and frozen meat pies/sausage rolls delivered to your door nationwide. Options are as follows;
- Free local delivery within c25 miles of our butcher's shop in Richmond, North Yorkshire (1 Reeth Road)
- Order online and collect from the shop
- Nationwide delivery which is free on orders over £75 (otherwise a £12 delivery charge).
- Call at the shop (open 8am to 12noon Mon to Fri and 8am to 12.00noonSat)
Email us or call us (01748 822998 or 07825 982576) for more information.
To help the environment we use biodegradable sheep's wool insulation as packaging for our meat boxes and bagasse trays. Your fresh meat will arrive in perfect chilled condition ready to cook or freeze. No signature required.
Shop Opening Hours
Monday to Friday - 8am to 12pm
Saturday - 8am to 12pm
STAY ON THE FARM
If you are interested in coming to stay on the farm at Tunstall, we have 3 luxury holiday properties. Have a look and book online here https://www.tunstallroadfarm.co.uk