In 1920 after Harry Howard had served in WW1. He came home with the promise of a job at the butchers shop across the road, but while he was at war they sold the business on.
Not one to be deterred he rented the shop that exists today, eventually buying it and the surrounding properties, on which he built the abattoir. A few years in, he also bought the shop in Castle Acre, hoping that his 2 eldest sons could have one shop each.Harry ran the Gayton shop for 54 years, and was still slaughtering at 80 years of age. Julian Howards mother and father purchased the Gayton shop in 1974.
The abattoir was almost rebuilt about 20 years ago when new guidelines came into force. These guidelines actually caused many of the small abattoirs in the are to close their doors. There are currently only three small abattoirs remaining in Norfolk, of which Howards is one. We pride ourselves on high standards of animal welfare, providing them with a calm comfortable environment, prior to being humanely slaughtered by our highly experienced abattoir staff. In 2002 Julian and Clare Howard bought the business from his parents. Julian is very passionate about sourcing locally and has contact with many of the surrounding farmers and buys his animals from them. For example bullocks from Sandringham Estate, pigs from South Creake and sheep from Wormegay, so it is definitely local. The abattoir provides a service to smallholders, who bring in their animals for us to process into meat which they can then sell. So we kill the animal, hang the carcase, for example beef is hung for appxoimatley 3 weeks, and then process it into joints, burgers, sausages and cure their bacon for them. We also have our own smoker so can produce home cured, smoked bacon.
In 2006 Julian and Clare extended the shop and introduced a deli, providing local and some foreign cheese, we have around 30-35 different cheeses at any one time,as well as olives, pies, cooked meats and fresh bread delivered daily by Smiths Bakers in Kings Lynn. There is a good selection of fruit and vegetables and also tinned produce and handmade sauces(including gluten free ones),so you can get everything for your meal in one shop,not just the meat.We offer a free delivery service to surrounding villages also.All our sausages are hand made on site using Julians Grandfathers recipe. We make all our own burgers as well as dog meat for your pooch!
In 2011 we began renting our 3rd shop on the Sandringham Estate. This shop is where we sell mostly Sandringham red poll beef, farmed on the estate from the Queens herd. We also sell Sandringham lamb. After 5 years serving the Royal Household while they are in residence, we are able to apply for a royal warrant. If we are able to acheive this it would be a great honour.
We have always prided ourselves on the quality of our produce and the service we provide to all our customers. Our company logo, designed by Grandfather Howard, is a symbol of our continued committment to producing meat to the highest of standards,