Some might say no town centre is complete without a local butcher. Family butcher Shaw’s is owned and managed by Andrew Shaw in North Chingford, with a focus on community and quality products
Can you tell me a bit about how you came to be a butcher?
It’s in the family. I started as a Saturday boy with my dad when I was young and eventually ended up managing Dewhurst Butchers in Dalston. I managed a franchise of the butchers in Kwik Save and Somerfield for 14 years from 1988 and then decided to get rid of all the franchises and set up on my own in North Chingford. That was 2004.
What makes you stand out to the community in North Chingford?
The quality of our produce, great customer service, being a friendly face, always ‘going the extra mile’ for customers, all the usual things. We feel like we’re part of one big family with our customers.
What are the most popular things you sell?
People love our homemade pies and scotch eggs. We take pride in where our meat comes from, sourced from free range farms in Scotland. People know they’re getting quality.
How have you seen the business grow in the 16 years you have been in North Chingford?
It has been mostly through word of mouth. People have got fed up with shopping in bigger supermarkets in recent years and want to use more independent businesses. We have lots more customers as a result of these changing habits.
We also launched the website, so were able to start doing local deliveries.
How do you support the local community in Chingford?
We have done free local deliveries to the vulnerable and others in need during the lockdown.
What have been the challenges of Covid-19 and how have you overcome them?
We introduced things like only allowing two people in the shop at any one time and installing sneeze guards at the counter. We were able to stay open during the lockdowns as a ‘fourth emergency service’, so the business hasn’t been affected too much. We’ve been lucky.
What would you say about the North Chingford community?
Why should people support local business?
Never more than now has it been so important to support your local shops. We have lots of loyal and valued customers and in turn we hope that we have been able to offer good quality and a valuable service within the community. Let’s hope this can be continued, as all local shops need our help and support if the high street is to thrive in the future.
Do you have any favourite places to visit in North Chingford?
I love the golf course, and the local pubs. The Queen Elizabeth is a favourite!