New kid on the block taking over Jedburgh butcher’s

One of the Borders’ best-known butcher’s shops is to change hands after nearly 35 years.

By Kathryn Wylie
Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 2:41 pm
Ryan Briggs with his staff, Dom Ellis, Christine Jack and Pauline Watson
Ryan Briggs with his staff, Dom Ellis, Christine Jack and Pauline Watson

AJ Learmonth in Jedburgh has been bought by award-winning butcher Ryan Briggs.

He’s not entirely a new kid on the block, though, having learnt his trade there for the past eight years under former owner and business founder Allan Learmonth.

The 21-year-old has taken over the High Street shop following Allan’s decision to go for early retirement after a career spanning 36 years.

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Ryan, a former young butcher of the year for Scotland, has helped the shop pick up a plethora of plaudits at national industry award ceremonies but now faces a different type of challenge as the main man leading a team of three full-time and three part-timers.

“Nothing has really changed within the shop. It’s business as usual for us, but with a lot more responsibility for me,” Ryan said.

“It will remain as Learmonth’s until the end of the summer when I’ll change its name to Briggs Quality Butchers.

“We’ve also released a new product range of kitchen-ready meals and that has proven a success in the last week.

“The support from townsfolk so far has been really good. A lot of folk have been popping in to wish me luck and pick up a few things, which means a lot.”

Ryan is already out to pass on his expertise, saying: “I’m looking to take on an apprentice right now to start straight away, and will be looking to put our existing apprentice, Dom Ellis, through the same experiences as me competition-wise to get him up to the same good standard and with some silverware behind him.

“I must thank all the customers that are supporting me and my staff because without them it really wouldn’t be possible.”

Allan added: “I would like to thank you everyone very much for the support given to me over the years, and I hope everyone will continue to support Ryan in the way they have supported me.

“I would also like to thank all my staff for their services, dedication and support throughout my years.”

“They have been amazing and it’s been a pleasure to have been their employer,

“I wish them all the very best for the future in the shop and I’m in no doubt that Ryan will continue to uphold the quality and service that we have achieved over the years.”