Business of the week: Highbury butcher Godfrey’s on resisting the urge to ‘go hipster’
- Credit: Godfrey family
Godfrey’s Butchers has served people in Highbury since farmers drove cattle down the streets.
The last remaining of several set up by Frank Godfrey at the turn of the 20th century, the butcher’s in Highbury Park is now run by his great-great-great grandson, Chris.
Taking on the family business never fazed him. “My father was butchery-mad,” he said. “He brought us into it when we were very young, so I just came into the trade very naturally.
“When I was about seven he was already taking me to Smithfield Market.”
What he learned there served him well. During his tenure Godfrey’s has started supplying some of London’s finest restaurants and super-yachts around the world.
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Chris believes the key to his success has been sticking to what he knows well.
“Right now it’s very trendy to be a butcher,” he said. “There’s lots of what I call rock and roll butchers springing up around the place, selling everything from wine to cheese as well. But we don’t try to reinvent the wheel.”
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Chris’s commitment to the shop’s heritage is visible in its latest refurb. “All the planners wanted us to go for a hipster look, but I didn’t want any of that,” he said. He opted instead for the tile, marble and brass decor of the original design.