Bright future for butcher
Susanna Wilkey A POPULAR butcher stall currently open two days a week in Hampstead could soon become the village's full-time meat seller. Since Steeles butchers closed a year ago, Hampstead residents have been without a butcher and have had to trek to
A POPULAR butcher's stall currently open two days a week in Hampstead could soon become the village's full-time meat seller.
Since Steeles' butchers closed a year ago, Hampstead residents have been without a butcher and have had to trek to Belsize Park or Highgate for good quality meat.
Four months ago Meat, Naturally, which sells organic, free range beef, lamb, pork and poultry, started visiting Hampstead one day a week to trade in the community market on the High Street.
The butchers received such overwhelming support that they expanded and have moved into the market permanently, opening on Fridays and Saturdays.
And the response has so pleased bosses they are now considering opening seven days a week.
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Farza Emami, one of the two founders of Meat, Naturally, said: "We have had quite a response to having fresh, good quality meat in Hampstead. At the moment we are only open two days a week but we are looking at expanding it if we see the demand is there.
"So far, the feedback has been really positive from the community and we already have regulars who come every week and everyone seems very happy with what they are getting.
"Basically, people should watch this space. We are definitely thinking about expanding because the community is certainly very supportive."
For a whole year, Hampstead folk have longed for a butcher after Joseph Steele retired from his popular business in Flask Walk. They are now hopeful someone can fill the void.
Chairman of the Heath and Hampstead Society, Tony Hillier, said: "It sounds like extremely good news. A new butcher in Hampstead would be very welcome because Steeles left a huge gap and has been greatly missed."
And Hampstead councillor Linda Chung, who also founded traders' group NW3Hampstead, added: "I think it is fantastic news. People have been saying for a long time they want a butcher because it is one of the specialist shops we are missing.
"We have the majority of shops but we do not have a butcher and everyone will be delighted and long as it is good meat and a good service.
"We want to know where our meat comes from and we want it to be of excellent quality. Anything that gives the people of Hampstead more choice is great but it must be good quality. This butcher is obviously very popular and successful to already be opening more days so I would definitely encourage them to open all week."
Meat, Naturally was founded by Farza Emami and butcher Patrick Bourke, who between them have more than 17 years' food retail experience.
All the meat is from small British farms committed to rearing animals naturally and to the highest standard.
The company can also offer practical advice on selecting the best cuts.
Upcoming Valentine's Day specials include a selection of cuts from the rare breed Old Gloucester Beef and a special accompaniment containing rose petals, sour cherries, figs and aromatic spices.