Lishman’s Butchers & Charcutiers in Ilkley has unveiled its brand-new ‘joint’ – a total shop refurbishment designed to modernise the Leeds Road premises and showcase the traditional craftsmanship of their butchers.
The project, which represents a major investment, has transformed the layout of the shop, with a single central main road entrance, creating more space for customers internally. Service at the in-house deli has been sped up with the addition of a fast-track pie hatch with direct access from the street, reducing lunchtime queues for Lishman’s multi award-winning pork pies.
“A lot of thought has gone into the layout and we have refreshed our branding at the same time. Our main aims have been around making the meat that we’re proud to source the centrepiece, alongside our butchery skills, which are now more visible to customers. We’ve opened the shop up so customers have more space to browse, instead of being faced with a long counter,” explained Emma Lishman, 32, who joined her founding father David in the business in 2015 and became a partner in 2018.
A standalone charcuterie display section is also being incorporated, while another innovation is a butchers’ display window featuring a Himalayan Salt Wall containing bricks that create the perfect environment for dry-ageing beef and maximising its flavour.
“It’s a shop window for customers to enjoy – whether it be to hand pick their weekend meals or just to ask questions and increase knowledge. New multi-decks and pre-pack counters allow people to view prices before they buy, while those requiring specific quantities – for example a couple of sausages or rashers of bacon - are able to request exactly what they want via the butchers’ serve-over counter. We want to educate and cater more effectively for ever-evolving tastes and pockets,” said Emma.
Expansion and diversification has been key to the business since it was first established by David Lishman over 35 years ago in 1986 in the former Percy Driver Butchers. It has since tripled in size with the acquisition and expansion into adjoining premises at either side of the original shop, first in 1997, then 2000.
In 1999, a former builder’s yard at the rear was acquired to provide a car park, with a standalone meat production unit built alongside in 2005, followed by a semi-refurbishment project in the main shop in 2013, then the launch of a new pie production facility in 2017.
The most recent venture was the creation of a standalone drying and maturation unit last year in Skipton for Lishman’s award-winning charcuterie arm. In addition to the shop’s own requirements, Lishman’s supplies cured hams and salamis to delicatessens, farm shops and high-class restaurants nationwide.
David Lishman remains amongst the best-known names in British butchery and under his guidance, with the loyal support of a highly-skilled butchers brigade, both the business and its products have picked up numerous high profile awards across the years; including the UK Butchers Shop of the Year title in 2017, Champion Producer in the 2019 British Charcuterie Live Awards, as well as many coveted Great Taste accolades.
The shop is a long-standing member of the national Q Guild Butchers, with David Lishman himself a former regional and national chairman. In 2020, Lishman’s was crowned overall supreme champion in the Q Guild’s Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards with its Chilli Cheese Dogs.
David commented: “Another key goal was to improve how we share with customers where our meat comes from. We’ve always sourced the highest quality and high welfare beef, lamb and pork, from as locally as possible, to ensure provenance and keep food miles to a minimum. We now have signage in place to clearly illustrate exactly what we supply, including our special heritage breeds.
“Our overall aim has not only been to modernise the shop and bring it bang up to date, but also maintain traditional elements and increase the ‘theatre’ in the shop by showcasing the craftsmanship of butchery through the chopping block, hanging window and charcuterie displays. Our investment will allow the business to flourish in the future with the family and associate partners at the helm.”
Last year, Lishman’s appointed two new partners - butchers Joe Smith and Andrew Waterhouse - in a move destined to underpin the future of the long-established business.