Ashlyns Farm Shop, Essex

Epping, Essex

Customer: Ashlyns Butchers Shop, Epping, Essex

Solutions: Carne 1 Dry Aged Meat Cabinet

Features: Dry Aged Meat

Savings: Meat waste

Project overview

Ashlyns Farm Shop is located in Epping, Essex. Established 15 years ago in an old barn, today the thriving farm shop includes a butchers run by Steve Alsop. Steven is the onsite butcher and supplies responsibly sourced meat, including grass fed beef, free range pork, tender lamb, and organic chicken. He also stocks game when in season, including rabbit, venison, pheasant and pigeon. Steve happily recommends and prepares cuts of meat for shoppers, and can also add a choice of marinades to the order. Ageing meat is a very old practice, but it is a brand new feature at butchers in Ashlyns Farm Shop. Installed in August 2020, butcher Steve explains how his new dry aged meat cabinet supplied by Pastorfrigor GB Ltd has helped to rapidly grow sales. Steve Alsop has been a traditional butcher for 28 years. He joined the team at Ashlyns Farm Shop in July 2019 and since then he has worked hard to grow the sales of fresh meat. Dry ageing is the traditional method of storing and maturing meat to create a stronger flavour and a tenderer joint. A dry ageing meat cabinet or fridge slowly extracts excess moisture from the meat to give a more concentrated flavour and breaks down the tougher connective tissues in the muscle to leave exceptionally tender meat. Not only that, a dry ageing cabinet is a very effective feature for engaging with customers and generating a number of extra impulse sales. Steve introduced the dry aged cabinet to the farm shop in August 2020 and as it is the only shop for miles around with one, sales immediately went from strength to strength. “I decided to bring in a dried aged cabinet because I wanted to build my beef business. Having done it my entire career, I knew from experience that having the ability to sell great quality, well hung beef, was a great way to build business,” he says. In addition to having the extra customers visit to buy fresh meat, the farm shop is benefiting from a hike in sales in fresh vegetables, fruit and condiments. “The cabinet is pulling people in from all around and they are buying all the extra’s that go with meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The store is really benefitting from the knock-on effect.”

What did Pastorfrigor install?

In just over a year, Steve has turned the butchery business around at Ashlyns Farm Shop. In June 2020 Pastorfrigor GB supplied the farm shop with new multideck refrigeration including one for butcher which contains a range of cured chorizos, salamis, bacon and whole chickens. “After the refrigeration investment, I knew I had to have a dry aged meat cabinet. Pastorfrigor were able to supply me with a stunning looking dry aged meat cabinet. The Pastorfrigor Carne 1 was a huge investment for the business but it’s already paying its way. “I’m selling out every week and the overall benefit is huge - new and repeat customers are coming into the shop to see the cabinet and end up buying not just the beef but lamb, chicken, pork plus many other items in the shop which is worth even more to us. “In addition, we’ve a huge number of pre-sold pieces to age. Customers are coming into the store and to watch their meat mature! It’s incredible to see them coming in to see how the process develops. They do say the best things come to those who wait!” Steve says the dry aged cabinet is beautiful – “it’s a real work of art and the way it lights up is stunning. It’s the first thing you see as you come into the shop. We couldn’t be happier".

What were the results?

“It's is really heartening to see customers shopping more at their local butchers. The meat trade has struggled over the years but I’ve no doubt that the sight of our beautiful dry aged meat cabinet and the high quality beef is bringing shoppers to our store. We are committed to growing the business and I love the relationship we have with our customers. It’s great to see them supporting their local butcher and farm shop.” When asked what’s next for the butchery department at Ashlyn’s Farms Shop, Steve says excitedly “We want another dry aged meat cabinet but bigger!” A Dry Ageing meat cabinet is a great opportunity for butchers and farm shops to produce extra high end sales as well as being an effective display piece adding in-store theatre. Pastorfrigor GB can supply a full range of Dry Aging equipment. Adding Dry-Ageing units into any refrigeration design will grab shoppers attention and maximise sales – don’t just take our word for it - ask Steve Alsop at Ashlyns Farm Shop!

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