And suddenly just like that, it’s December again – Sophie Cumber, Butchery at Bowhouse Manager

07 December 2021

2021 has been an interesting year  for the Butchery at Bowhouse, it has been great seeing the monthly Bowhouse markets getting busier throughout the year as things have been getting ‘back to normal’. Whilst the wholesale side of the business has thankfully been much less interrupted than in 2020. We now supply several restaurants in Edinburgh as well as locally.

The start of the week is always focussed on getting the meat ready for wholesale and courier orders. I speak to the chefs I work with and agree with each one what they will take that week, it changes all the time which suits the whole animal nature of the business. This is all prepared and ready to head out in our van on a Wednesday morning. While my assistant takes the wholesale deliveries I pack up the online orders. Every week we courier orders all around the country, these are individual items which all need to be cut and packed into boxes to be collected by APC.

As soon as all these orders have gone out I can start focusing on the shop and the rest of the week ahead. So the rest of Wednesday is usually spent on breaking down carcasses. We break whole animals or sides into ‘primal’ cuts, which then get hung separately. In the case of beef this involves cutting up the meat inside the fridge while it is still hanging, therefore avoiding having to lift the huge sides out of the fridge. These primal cuts are then much easier to get out and prepared as and when they are needed.

We are now heading into the busiest time for every butchery in the country.. Christmas, which always seems to come around so fast. I start thinking about Christmas around September as I need to start planning then what meat I will be getting in and when. Because of the whole carcass approach of the butchery there can only be a certain amount of each thing. Currently we are taking Christmas orders and I need to stay constantly on top of these to make sure that I have enough of everything. It can be quite stressful, as you know it is so important to people, you don’t want to mess up or miss anyone’s orders!

The next couple of weeks we will be continuing with all our usual jobs as well as getting ready for the Christmas Bowhouse market. We have got loads of exciting products planned for the Christmas market so will be really busy with the prep for that!

We will also be receiving in extra meats like gammons and bacon which need to be cut and rolled ready for Christmas. I will start allocating specific meat to orders so that it is ready to be prepared in the run up to Christmas. Then as soon as the Christmas market is over it will be all steam ahead for the main event.

Wish us luck and give us cheery wave when you see us at all hours in the butchery!


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