Only Remaining Butchers On St Mary’s To Close

Scilly’s only full-time butchers is closing down at the end of October after two decades of trading.

Owner, Steve Griffin, recently celebrated his 60th birthday and the property has been on the market at £430,000 for a few years. This summer, posters offering leasing of the shop were placed in the windows of the Garrison Lane business.

10 years ago Hughtown had two town centre butchers, with Griffin’s along with Woodcock and Mumford’s, where the Deli is now. But a number of B&B proprietors have told us recent deals from mainland giants like Tesco and Bookers have won some of their spend.

Off-islanders have meat counters at Tresco Stores and Bryher stores. Zoe Dan, manager of Bryher Stores says she doesn’t have plans to bring meat products to St Mary’s at this stage.

Before he started his own shop, Steve ran the Co-op’s instore butchery and the national chain say they are looking at gaining back some of his business.

A spokesperson for The Co-operative Group said, “We are aware of the situation with the existing butcher’s shop on Scilly. We are currently reviewing the range of meat products we offer in our St Mary’s store, to identify where we can extend our range to ensure we offer the best possible service for our customers.”

Mark Etherington, managing director of Cornwall-based meat suppliers, Etheringtons, knows our islands well. He said he’s seriously considered making an offer for the butchers as his firm is going back into direct retail with farmers markets.

But Mark is concerned about finding staff on the islands and the seasonal nature of business here, but would consider making an offer for the shop if a committed potential manager came forward.

The group planning an abattoir have discussed the benefits of a retail unit for locally produced meat but Richard Chiverton, a member of the group, says the closure won’t affect their plans as they are still being developed.

He personally believes there should be a point-of-sale but has no preference on whether that should be at an abattoir or another retailer.

Richard says the actual abattoir site is still undecided and that could influence the likelihood of a small outlet.