Rural growth: The success of North York Moors based 'Ginger Pig'
Defra's £20m+ investment in over 800 businesses in English National Parks has benefited enterprises such as 'The Ginger Pig'.
The growth of The Ginger Pig has been a product of Tim Wilson’s passion for traditional animals and butchery, and revolutionary natural farming strategy. The company now has six London shops, farms over 3,000 acres of farm and moorland, works with a network of like-minded farming partners and employs approximately 80 members of staff.
In 2003, Tim Wilson applied for a Defra grant to help up-scale his production to bigger premises. The company is considered to be one of the most reputable small food and farming businesses in the country; Tim puts its success down to a commitment to impeccable animal welfare, good people and traditional butchery methods.
The Ginger Pig operates from an 18th century farmhouse in the North York Moors village of Levisham and is the beating heart of the business, employing over 30 people to manage the farmland and run the butchery, bakery, preserving kitchen and head office. This team supports a 50-strong network of master butchers, cooks and counter staff in London, who serve the areas of Marylebone, Shepherd’s Bush, London Bridge, Hackney, Waterloo and Clapham via the company’s retail shops.
One of the most popular products is their traditional sausage roll; a ballast of rich, pork sausage meat encased within a crust of home-made pastry. Their beef graces the tables of one of the capital’s most renowned and successful steakhouses including The Hawksmoor, Aqua Shard, The Clove Club and Racine.
The company began offering butchery lessons to the public several years ago, long before public interest in food was at the level we see now. The small classes run seven nights a week and are booked up for weeks in advance; students come from all walks of life and share a common enthusiasm for hands-on butchery and food preparation.
Tim and his business enterprise took a gamble within the food industry; opening butchers shops when thousands were closing due to the consumer shift towards the supermarkets, standing by their core values of quality and animal welfare when many were seeking the cheapest possible product.
The Ginger Pig delivers beef to butchers in Belgium and Paris, and a handful of restaurants also in Paris. The business has registered interest from even further afield; the improved production and butchery facilities will allow the company to capitalise on this interest in British produce, both on British soil and from further field.