Kelso’s newest town centre shop is combining beef with brownies in a bid to offer something a little different to the traditional butcher’s line-up of meat and more meat.
Hunters Butchers and Delicatessen, in Bridge Street, is priding itself on finding new ways to diversify.
“We are doing things a little differently,” owner Scott Hunter, of Sunlaws, said.
“We aren’t just going down that same old line.
“We have given the shop a complete facelift so it has a modern look, including the deli, which features British and continental cheeses and charcuterie. The response has been brilliant so far.”
The move has created two part-time jobs alongside that of full-time head butcher Colin Ward, employed at the Bridge Street shop – formerly Foston’s Fine Meats, Mitchell’s Butchers and Lee’s Butchers before that – for 20 years.
It’s a bit of a change of path for father-of-two Scott, 50, though, as his background is in cooking, having run the award-winning Harrow Inn gastropub near Newbury in Berkshire for eight years and the Fleece in Witney, Oxfordshire, for four before moving back to the Borders 13 years ago.
“I grew up here and wanted to bring my two boys up in the Borders too,” Scott, who spent a lot of his own childhood in and around the farming lifestyle, said. “I was brought up around sheep, cows, ducks and chickens,” he added. “Bringing it all together is my idea of bliss.”
While the butchery side of things will use only meat sourced within 20 miles of the shop, including pork from Stobs Farm, near Hawick, and lamb from the Cheviots, the deli is offering products from further afield.
Scott said: “Native Breeds charcuterie is based in Gloucestershire and recently found fame on Countryfile. As far as we know, we’re their first outlet this side of the border.
“We’ve also got exclusive artisan breads from Jedburgh, meringues, cakes of all kinds, a huge selection of jams and pickles and what must be the best brownies in the Borders.”
Butcher’s shop favourites, meanwhile, include the Kelsae banger and pies, burgers, sausage rolls, haggis and puddings all made in house.
“We are all about quality. If it’s not got full flavour and punch it’s not going on the counter,” Scott added.
Hunter’s is open from 7.30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.