The pandemic undeniably derailed a lot of business owners when it hit the world in 2020. A lot, if not all, businesses were not prepared to face the outcome. Stilton Butchers is one of the numerous businesses that were taken aback when businesses were forced to shut down for a season to keep people safe at home. Instead of waiting for a positive turn of events, owner James Morgan came up with an innovative idea to keep the business running and ensure that all his 60 employees could continue earning at a time when anxiety and fear were high. The business migrated to an e-commerce platform and brought the products right to the clients’ doorsteps.
Before the shocking events that took place last year, Stilton Butchers was best known as the supplier of choice when it comes to high-quality and award-winning meat to Michelin star restaurants, pubs, and cafes in the United Kingdom. When the authorities ordered the nationwide lockdown, James Morgan and his team had £1 million worth of fresh meat in storage. There were no customers, and Morgan was forced to think fast.
Morgan knew that the only way for Stilton Butchers to survive was to adapt to the new situation. Determined to make it work, Morgan rallied his team to shift to a nationwide delivery system alongside a much-improved website. This unplanned shift in the business transformed the £7 million turnover catering company into a £15 million meat retail business almost overnight at the height of the world’s scariest health crisis.
“We turned all our focus to our retail customer base by redeveloping our website, hiring more staff, and investing in delivering nationwide,” James Morgan explains. “Almost instantly, we saw sales skyrocket and in six months watched our retail turnover more than double the previous catering income. We’ve taken the website from obtaining an average of 500 orders a month to an average of over 5,000 monthly orders,” he adds.
From being the friendly local butcher company, Stilton Butchers became a nationwide hit. It also became an opportunity for the company to elevate its products from the meat to the packaging, manner of delivery, and quality of service. It rebranded itself to become the most trusted provider of the finest gourmet meat delivered right at one’s doorstep.
Stilton Butchers was established in 1978 by Peter Morgan, James’ late father, in a quiet little village called Stilton near Peterborough, United Kingdom. Within a year after its opening, James’ father was able to open another shop and added two more soon after. Realizing the profit they could gain from supplying meat to the catering industry, Peter closed his shops and moved into a custom-built unit, focusing solely on the catering market.
It is presently operating in a 16,000 square foot custom-built cutting plant equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology. The company maintains the meat’s quality and freshness by using reliable commercial refrigerators that prevent light or air from coming in contact with the meat. Not being able to ensure this automatically affects the meat and results in discoloration, among others.
Armed with a customer-friendly tool, Stilton Butchers takes orders online or by telephone. Expert butchers are then tasked to cut fresh meat as requested by clients. The meat is then delivered through a refrigerated van or by another courier company that uses a special icebox that keeps it under 5 degrees celsius for up to 72 hours.
Looking ahead into the future, James Morgan envisions the company becoming an industry leader and the biggest online butcher in Europe. As Morgan fixes his eyes on the goal, he leads his team into an unmatched success that will make Stilton Butchers a household name in many regions.
Visit the Stilton Butchers website to learn more about the company and its products.