1. Tell us a little about the history of your family business, when it was started and by whom?
The story of Primacy Meats started back in the 50’s. Our Grandfather ran a pig farm in Newtownards and was well known in the town as he collected waste food from door-to-door to use as pig feed! Grandad Bowman retired in the 60’s but he passed the business on to his son. In the 1980’s George (our dad) bought a farm in the Craigantlet Hills where he began to farm beef, lamb and turkey. The reputation of quality meat coming from the farm grew as George supplied to local butchers. Then in 1991 George bought Primacy Meats (where the Food Village stands today) and this was the start of the Bowman family running Primacy Meats.
Stephen & Nicola receiving the Butcher Plus Award Last year & Mr Bowman at the Family Farm
2. How has the business changed throughout the years?
When dad took over Primacy Meats in the 90’s the reputation of quality meat was already at the centre of its success. With that same commitment to quality, and a lot of hard work from the team, Primacy Meats has been able to grow. One of the most visible changes in the business has been as the next generation (of the family) has taken over, we have created a space that not only offers customers the traditional local butcher experience but also provides a one-stop-shop for our customers. In 2006 we were able to open our purpose built Food Village where we are based today. From here we offer a complete range of produce in our Farm Shop along with a wide range of handmade & pre-packed dishes all produced in-house by our own chefs. We also have a popular tearoom with our famous lunchtime carvery! Such a variety of choice makes the Food Village quite unique! The most recent change has been our partnership with Tesco. We now have 9 Primacy meat counters in Tesco stores throughout the Province. We are so pleased to offer the same great quality produce that you expect from Primacy Meats but within the convenience of a Tesco store.
3. Working together as members of the same family do you find it difficult to maintain a healthy work/life balance?
Working with family is great. We all share the same vision and commitment which helps. Although coming from a farming background work/life balance has always been tricky – a farm never stops! We all work hard and each of us has our own unique skills that help in each part of the business. Dad’s knowledge of farming helps us find the very best beef cattle and other animals including our very popular hand reared Christmas turkeys! Stephen & Ross are both butchers, with over 40 years of experience between them, and I have a restaurant background which helps with the catering side of the business. I think because it is a family business we all feel a very deep commitment to our values and standard of work. We take quality very seriously as we have been taught from the beginning – it is at the heart of all we do. Our customers are so important to us and we know it is because of the consistent high quality of produce that they keep returning.
In November we won the UK Butcher Plus Award 2014! (2nd time in 5 years) To win such a highly acclaimed award is very rewarding – especially as we all work so hard, it’s nice to be recognised as one of the best butcher shops in the UK.
Great meat is always at the centre of what we do but we also want to be more than just a butcher! In today’s busy and changing culture we want to listen to our customers needs and create produce that tick all the boxes – healthily eating, convenience, quality and great taste! Recently we have been developing a wide range of produce to meet different customer needs. With a new range of gluten-free meat products, delicious handmade oven ready dishes, herb butters, rare breed beef and we will soon be launching a new low fat and low carb range. We also have a great stock of sauces, oils, frozen produce and even a range of fresh locally produced detox juices!
Customers can also relax and enjoy breakfast, lunch or a sweet treat in our Village Tearoom. You can come to the Primacy Food Village and pick up everything you need in one place – it is essentially a one-stop-shop!
Of course the Food Village isn’t the only place to experience our quality produce, with our 9 Tesco meat counters you can enjoy great meat all over the province including the Tesco in Bloomfields and Newtownards. Soon a 10th outlet will open in the local area… watch this space!
Where ever you shop with Primacy Meats our values are the same – local, quality produce at the very best prices.