Business merger is a recipe for success
AN HISTORIC East Yorkshire butchery has joined forces with a Hull wholesale business.
Charter's Butchers, of Brandesburton, has been providing quality meat to local homes and businesses for more than 100 years.
The family firm, which dates back to 1896 and is owned by Kevan Vickers and his wife Sarah, has now joined forces with Alpine Fine Foods, of Hull.
The two businesses have been working together for more than a year. Now, they are operating under the same roof at Alpine's premises in Oslo Road.
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The merger enables Alpine to expand the range of meat it offers to customers across the north of England, while helping Charter's to grow its product range and customer base.
Mr Vickers, who is heading up Alpine's new butchery unit while his wife continues to run the retail business, said the merger came about after his children informed him they did not want to go into the family business.
He said: "We'll be keeping the same suppliers and we've got the same people doing the butchery to the same high standard.
"The benefit is that we now have a state-of-the-art, purpose-built meat plant and are using Alpine's modern and efficient distribution service."
Mr Vickers recently set about recalibrating the butcher's sausage machine to create a cartoon-style hot dog sausage for York Maze.
The resultant sausage had to be the perfect length for York Maze's hot dog buns, and so the "super-size" sausage was born.
He said: "The sausages are made to our own recipe, which is very popular, but are quarter-pounders, measured by hand to make sure they are the right length."
Darren Peacock, sales director of Alpine Fine Foods, said: "We have been supplying York Maze with various products for seven or eight years, so when they wanted a jumbo hot dog we couldn't let them down.
"Tom wanted a cartoon- style sausage that sticks out of the roll a bit at each end.
"We couldn't compromise, it has to be locally produced, and we were happy to go the extra few inches."
Alpine Fine Foods, now part of Hull firm MWS Group, was set up more than ten years ago by Peter McAlpin and co-director Darren Peacock.
Mr Peacock said: "Kevan wanted to grow his business but couldn't do that from the premises in Brandesburton.
"Only about 10 per cent of his business was food service, with 90 per cent retail. He will still do the retail butchery here but the food service side will increase to 60 or 70 per cent and we will be working to build on that.
"Charter's is a perfect fit with the ethos at Alpine, where we aim to provide the quality of products and the level of customer care you would expect from a family- run business but with the buying power of a larger organisation.
"The investment enables us to offer a complete butchery service, including making sausages and burgers to customers' specific requirements."