Our exhibitor of the week this week is Perfick Pork, who are regulars at most of our Game and Country Shows throughout the year, and will be at both food festivals this summer.
David & Julie welcome you to Perfick Pork… the biggest little butchers in Norfolk!
If you talk to anyone about their favourite roast dinner or favourite meal, I could probably guarantee that Pork does not feature as one of the popular choices. For us, pork is the tastiest and one of the most versatile meats you can find. It is also probably the most over-cooked meats; we are constantly educating customers in our shop about cooking times. Yet the pork shoulder can be cooked low and slow for many hours and still produce a beautifully succulent piece of meat.
My passion for butchery goes way back to when I was a young lad. Both my Dad and Uncle were traditional butchers with successful businesses in West London in the 60’s and 70’s, rearing their own livestock for their produce. As a youngster, I would often help out on the farm before school. I was fascinated particularly by the buying and selling of livestock at the market and even reared a couple of litter runts to sell at market myself (although not too successfully at times!!)
By my early teens, I knew that I had the bug for butchery and I was fortunate enough to be offered an apprenticeship at the famous Smithfield Market in central London. In the years after leaving Smithfield, I opened 2 very successful butcher’s shops in West London employing all the knowledge passed down from my Dad and Uncle along with my own ideas I had gained from my time at Smithfield. One of these shops still exists today and is owned by a guy who learned his trade with me. Eventually, I decided on a change of tack and bought a bed and breakfast business in the Lake District. Even though the B&B presented an entirely new set of challenges and was a really successful business, Butchery was still my life’s passion.
9 years ago, my wife Julie and I were offered first refusal on a house owned by a relative of mine in Norfolk (a house that I had genuinely fallen in love with some years before). Naturally, I jumped at the chance!
After a short time living in Norfolk, we had made a good set of friends in the village; one of which, Trevor Potter, was a cattle farmer who happened to mention that he was looking for someone to butcher his livestock for sale. I offered my services and in the coming months, spoke at length to Trevor about my dream of running a rural pork butchers and rearing my own livestock. To my complete surprise, I came home one day to find Trevor had put 3 pigs in my stables as a token of gratitude for the butchery services I had provided!
Some of the first cuts from those pigs were used at a BBQ we were asked to do at the opening day of Fakenham races. We had drawn quite a crowd due to the wonderful aromas from the pork cooking on the BBQ (something that happens frequently these days at the produce shows we visit around the UK). One passing gent in particular was asked if he would like to try some BBQ’d pork. This turned out to be one of the most defining moments for Perfick Pork since the gentleman, unbeknown to us, was the late hotelier Paul Whittome, owner of the prestigious Hoste Arms in Burnham Market. He asked me to meet with his Head Chef at the time, Aaron Smith the following week with a selection of sample products. We now supply The Hoste Arms with a wide range of produce including half a ton of our Smoked, Sweetcure Back Bacon every week!
Check out Perfick Pork’s website here where you can buy their delicious sausages online. And don’t miss them at the Nottingham Food Festival!