A traditional pork butchers in a North Yorkshire town has seen business thrive over recent months as a change in shopping habits continues to bring more customers through its doors.
As it marked one year since opening in Knaresborough, Appleton’s butchers and pie makers said business there had not only exceeded expectations but grown almost 20 per cent in the last six weeks alone.
Store manager Andy Marwood said the number of tourists returning to Knaresborough’s high-street continues to increase, while confidence is rising at “an encouraging rate”.
“Business has been growing rapidly and gone to a whole new level, confidence is up and the future looks strong,” said Andy.
“Covid restrictions have completely changed people’s shopping habits when buying meat and speciality produce. They are less likely to buy from supermarkets that put little value on the provenance of their meats, instead they want to shop local and know that what they’re buying is of the highest quality.”
Appleton’s, which was founded in 1867, also has shops in Wetherby, Boroughbridge and Ripon, and specialises in pork products, including cured ham, sausage rolls and scotch eggs.
It is renowned for its handmade pork pies, favoured by Prince Charles, and makes some 8,000 pies at its Ripon site each week, which are delivered to the other shops in their raw pastry cases to bake on premises
Owners Anthony and Isabel Sterne bought what was formerly Robinson’s Butchers on Knaresborough’s Market Place in 2016, and painstakingly renovated the grade II listed timber-frame building before opening on August 18 last year, in the midst of the global pandemic.
Anthony said: “Knaresborough is a thriving market town, where both residents and tourists bring a real buzz to the centre, and that was a perfect fit with Appleton’s.
“Opening during the pandemic may have seemed a little reckless to some, but restoring the former Robinsons shop had been the plan for some years and we were in no doubt of its potential to succeed.
“We’ve looked after our customers during these tough times and, one year on from opening, their continued loyalty is now paying dividends.”