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Proud new owner takes charge of Spalding's historic George Adams butchers

The proud new owner of an award-winning Spalding butchers has vowed to keep up the firm’s strong reputation.

Antony Burfield (32) took over the reins at George Adams in The Crescent on July 5 and said he wants to continue the traditions of a retailer that has served the town since 1910.

The new managing director told the Spalding Guardian: “It’s a business with a brilliant heritage – it’s at the core of the community.

Antony Burfield, new managing director of George Adams in Spalding (49437907)
Antony Burfield, new managing director of George Adams in Spalding (49437907)

“You talk to anybody in the town and they have either worked for or had a member of their family worked for Adams at some point.”

The venture marks a near-homecoming for Mr Burfield who is originally from the Peterborough area.

He trained as a butcher and went on to manage retail and wholesale businesses, working all over the UK before returning to the area.

He said: “I was looking for a food business then I came across Adams by chance and the rest is history. I came and looked and thought it was a good opportunity.”

He added: “There aren’t any people in the meat industry in the UK who haven’t heard of Adams of Spalding.”

Antony Burfield, new managing director of George Adams in Spalding (49437904)
Antony Burfield, new managing director of George Adams in Spalding (49437904)

He said there is ‘lots of scope’ for a bright future, but said that any changes – be they to production quality, sourcing local ingredients or the shopping experience – will not change the business that current customers enjoy.

Mr Burfield said: “The business itself is brilliant, you wouldn’t change anything.

“We are not going to rip up and reset it but you can enhance it and can grow the business.

He added: “All the team here know people by name. It’s amazing. It was like that in the butchers where I learned my trade and that’s what I want to keep.”

South Holland prides itself on its thriving butchers scene – and Mr Burfield believes our businesses are helped by the fact that growing numbers of people care about the quality and sourcing of their food – and that Covid has made people realise the virtues of shopping locally.

He also said younger people are increasingly getting into traditional trades as a career.

He said: “I would say that in the industry there aren’t that many people around of my age doing what I do.

“Statistics show that it is an ageing trade but there’s a bright future in UK agriculture in general, not just for butchers.

“There are younger people returning to trade such as this – long may that continue.”

George Adams won the Butcher's Pride award contest.
George Adams won the Butcher's Pride award contest.

His tenure started off in the perfect fashion when George Adams won the annual Butcher’s Pride contest in Spalding last week, impressing judges with the quality of its 1910 Lincolnshire sausage.

George Adams has won the contest five times in the ten years it has been running.

Mr Burfield said: “It’s nice to get the trophy back in the shop.”

He added: “Everybody has been really welcoming.

“You see the community spirit. If you go out in Spalding people already recognise, smile and say hello – it’s a fantastic community and one that you want to be part of.”

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