Because of geography, interest and dumb luck, I know a good number of butchers. I also know a number of good butchers. But let me tell you about some of the things that help to make a good butcher great.
Understanding the customer is a great thing. But understanding on its own will not a great butcher make.
Product knowledge helps when cutting steaks, yet it won’t cut the mustard in the greatness stakes.
Stocking the unusual is in itself unusual and is a great help.
Enthusiasm and passion are essential ingredients too.
When you come across all of the above, you know you are dealing with greatness.
In an ideal world, all women would be a 10 so dress manufacturers would only need to make one size. Shopping would be a lot simpler too. Men would be happy with mid grey polyester-cotton trousers in 32” waist/ 34” leg. Retailing would be so much easier. In the same idiom, butchers could only sell mince meat and chicken breasts. Things would be so easy. But, for women, men and butchers, life is not that simple. Butchers need to offer a bit more than the top margin products that virtually sell themselves. Some try to do it by buying in a range of day-glow sauces and “adding value” by disguising the meat in these industrially produced “authentic” flavours. This may keep the wolf of competition from the door in the short term. Business logic tells me that the advantage will be eroded by supermarkets and this variety of independent butcher, like the guy trying to fit into size 32, will be under pressure again.