Welcome To Kittow’s Quality Meats
As a Traditional Family Butcher we pride ourselves in the range and quality of meats we provide. In addition to this, our friendly service and product knowledge is at the forefront of our business.
Our Beef, Pork and Lamb is sourced from local farms with full traceability by our local Cornish abattoir J .V Richards and Sons, establishing customer confidence in a quality product.
The Kittow Family Butchery business was established in the early 1890’s in St Blazey, Cornwall, by Mr Thomas and Mary Kittow. During the 1940’s one of their four sons, Thomas Austin Kittow and his wife Hazel established T.A Kittow and Sons in St Austell, Cornwall, along with their family. Today we are proud to continue this business which is currently being managed by Andrew Thomas Kittow (5th Generation) at Holmbush, St Austell and known as Kittow’s Quality Meats.
OUR STORY - As told by Andrew Kittow
The Kittow family butchery business was established in the early 1890s in St Blazey, by Thomas and Mary Kittow. They had four sons and a daughter, which is why there are other companies today bearing the name Kittow – they share roots in this original business; however, we operate completely separately. One of the four sons, Thomas (Tom) Austin Kittow, launched TA Kittow and Sons in Carclaze in the 1940s. Tom and his wife, Hazel, were my grandparents; as a young lad, I was always working alongside my grandfather where they lived at Martella Gribben Road. My father, John, and his brother Austin also worked in the business. Today, I’m the fifth generation Kittow to work in our butchery trade; the business is now based at Holmbush, St Austell, and I manage it under the name of Kittow’s Quality Meats.
I joined the family business upon leaving school at 16. As soon as I could drive, we purchased a second refrigerated mobile van and I canvased local villages, knocking on doors to build up a round. For five days a week, I would toot my horn to let people know I’d arrived; village life was quite different then, very busy. I liked the idea of meeting my customers, and building good relationships with them put me in good stead for the future. Everything changed in the business after my nan died. My father had to give up work due to health issues, and I had to cover both mobile rounds. We made the decision to bring in a friend of mine and fast-track him into the meat trade to take over my mobile round – 25 years later, Lee Davidson is still with us as my shop manager.
It was a busy time for us with people also dropping in to buy pasties. Passing trade at Gribben Road was good. We anticipated changes with the new bypass being built, so we decided to move to a shop in the precinct at Holmbush in the 1990s – we’ve been there 17 years now. In that time, Tesco arrived on our doorstep, but that’s fine; we depend on footfall, and Tesco certainly brings that. In the past, the business used its own farms – Trenovissick Farm at The Mount, Par and Trevesson Farm, Gorran where my Uncle Austin farmed. Today, our beef, pork and lamb are sourced by a Cornish abattoir – JV Richards and Sons, at Perranwell Station – from local farms with full traceability.
The meat trade is physically demanding, but I still have a passion for it. You have to work to a high standard - cleanliness is so important, and to have a five-star hygiene rating for the past two years is really good for us. It was brilliant to be named Best South West Butcher at the 2016 Taste of the West Awards. We were judged on customer service and product knowledge, to name just two factors, but I never expected to win anything – we work as a team and do the best we can. This has seen us through some difficult times – even when Foot and Mouth and BSE scares occurred years ago, our customers had confidence in our traceability, which really helped us through.
My son Curtis became the sixth generation to join the business two years ago. He brought us up to date by use of the internet: Facebook, Instagram and online shopping. We now send meat by Fedex to all corners of the country – as I speak, I can see Curtis packing something to send to Cambridge. It’ll be there by noon tomorrow. He’s also been managing, along with Lee, our very successful mobile hog roast facility. We invested in it when he joined, and it has exceeded our expectations.
Although my shop has a modern feel, we’ve always been a traditional family butcher. It sounds twee, but I’m thankful our customers have supported us over the years,right back to my grandfather’s day. Some of them remember him from their childhood, and I’m sure custom has been passed on through the generations, just as the business has.