Before he puts a shift in at the shop, you’ll find Andrew Radford at Malton Livestock Auction every Tuesday buying cattle – something he’s been doing for the last 35 years. He’s a fifth-generation butcher who has been in the meat trade since he was 8 years old, taking over Radford’s Butchers in 1984 with his father, Peter.
Originally from Derbyshire, Peter began his working life in a butcher’s shop in Scarborough, moving to Whitby and a small cattle farm in 1980 with his family. Andrew was always ‘mad about cows!’ and soon got involved in butchery, winning display competitions all over the country.
He specialises in selling locally reared meat, believing that provenance ensures that customers get the finest quality. ‘It’s really important to us that our customers know where their meat comes from’ says Andrew. ‘I’ve got long-standing relationships with all the farmers whose cattle I buy at auction. I regularly visit the farms to see the livestock before it goes to market.’
All the meat comes from within a 25–30 mile radius. To ensure a rich and delicious flavour Andrew hangs all his Limousin-cross beef for 6 weeks before it hits the counter. His lamb is hung for 10 days, pork comes from Carlin How just up the coast, and game is from local shoots.
In the light, airy shop there’s a fabulous deli counter bristling with award-winning homemade pies, black pudding, pasties and fruit pies. Radford’s also sells to some of the top restaurants in the local area, including the Michelin-starred The Star Inn at Harome, the Magpie Café and Trenchers in Whitby. ‘I’m a frequent visitor to the Star’ says Andrew. ‘I’m very proud to part of their success’.
Radford’s is a bit of a one-stop shop – as well as the first-class meat, you’ll find wine, Lickerish Tooth gin made in Egton, bread from the Stonehouse Bakery in Danby and a rack of fresh vegetables. If you don’t have time to cook from scratch, score one of their ‘signature’ meat pies made with short crust pastry – not forgetting a tub of their gravy which is rich with meat juices – or just pick up a hamper. Treat yourself to a coffee while you browse, and perhaps a chunk of rocky road made by Andrew’s wife Sarah.
‘Since the start we’ve been keen on locality’ says Andrew. ‘Traceability is key for us and we’re very proud to be sourcing locally – it’s still one of the most important parts of Radfords. The constant feedback we get makes it all worthwhile!’
T: 01947 810229
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 8.30am-5.30pm (5pm on Saturdays)
Radford’s Butchers, 81 Coach Road, Sleights, Whitby YO22 5EH