30 Nov 2021
With so much change taking place in Exeter, it’s comforting to see that some institutions remain the same. Looking after us generation after generation, Courtneys Butchers Shop in St Thomas will be familiar to many residents - offering locally reared meat to the Exeter community for over 60 years.
When the original owners decided to retire back in 2013, Neil and Sally Grigg were keen to take over. The Grigg’s had been tenants at their National Trust farm since 2007, tending to their herd of Red Devon cattle from land on the Killerton estate in Broadclyst.
Sally says that they didn’t need much convincing to take on the much-loved Courtneys: ‘We’d been looking for a butcher’s shop for some time and when we heard about Courtneys, we jumped at the chance. The opportunity to offer locally reared meat in the centre of the thriving St Thomas community was too good to pass up.’
She says that the pandemic forced the business to begin to offer mail order meat boxes throughout Exeter and the couple are pleased that it gave them the opportunity to react to the changing shopping habits of their customers, as well as meeting the needs of some new ones in the process. The business also provides meat to local online suppliers, including Good Food Exeter and Good Sixty.
Both Devon natives, Sally and Neil had moved away from the area for a short spell but soon returned to the county when the opportunity to take on the tenancy of their farm arose. Now that the farm is home to their two children too, the couple don’t see themselves moving away from Exeter in the future.
‘Exeter has everything that we need and living just outside in Broadclyst definitely gives us the best of all worlds’ says Sally. ‘We are all so lucky that the city is surrounded by such beautiful countryside, but for us, the opportunity to be part of the buzzing St Thomas community is really important too.’
Sally says that the family’s favourite Exeter based activity is to cycle along the Quay to the Double Locks, and then back to the Riverside Café for coffee and hot chocolates!
And as Sally, Neil and their trust team of butchers gear up for their busiest season, what’s going to be on the menu at Burrow Farm this Christmas?
‘Being beef farmers, it’s often on the menu in our house, so at Christmas we’ll treat ourselves to a turkey farmed at Aylesbeare or a duck from nearby Crediton. It’s an opportunity to eat something that we perhaps wouldn’t normally and come Christmas Day, once the final order has been handed over to our customer, we’ll put our feet up and enjoy it!’