Amid COVID-19 lockdowns in early 2020, many businesses came to a major standstill. But amid uncertain futures and volatile situations, those companies pivoted and adapted to the times. One such business is Stilton Butchers. Today, the specialty meat store has turned into one of Europe’s premier brands for steaks and other high-tier meats.
Back in 1978, Peter Morgan launched a butcher shop in a small village called Stilton. After a successful launch, the shop branched out after only twelve months of operations, with two other locations following closely. After seeing the demand for top-quality meats, he sold all his shops, focused on the catering sector, and moved into one custom-built unit.
Fast forward to the 20th century, Peter would pass the baton to his son James Morgan, who would move from professional ice hockey in the UK and Canada to run the family-owned business. But little would James know that the biggest challenge of his life was ahead of him. In 2020, the second-generation business proprietor would lead a 16,000 square foot cutting plant with over £1 million worth of fresh meat. Before the second quarter of the year came along, COVID-19 would hit, leaving the company with no customers and no sales.
However, instead of folding his cards and calling it quits, James started innovating and steered the company into a new direction: e-commerce. Today, the Stilton Butchers brand has now become an online sensation, growing the business from £7 million turnovers into £15 million in retail sales almost overnight. “We turned all our focus to our retail customer base by re-developing our website, hiring more staff, and investing in delivering nationwide,” recalls James Morgan. “Almost instantly, we saw sales skyrocket, and in six months, watched our retail turnover more than double the previous catering income. We’ve taken the website from obtaining an average of 500 orders a month to an average of over 5,000 monthly orders.”
Amid challenging times, James exemplified tenacious leadership by refusing to give up when times were difficult. He would introduce Europe and the world to a convenient alternative to supermarket meat and create a brand that would deliver Michelin-star standard meat directly to customers’ doors.
At Stilton Butchers, there is a high emphasis on customer satisfaction and top-quality logistics. The company has introduced a trailblazing packaging design that keeps chilled and frozen foods fresh despite the 72-hour turnaround. Consequently, the company now delivers all across the United Kingdom and serves clients from all walks of life.
Stilton Butchers has become the epitome of resilience, proving to many small and medium businesses that one can still achieve incredible feats amid trying times by choosing to adapt and change when the circumstance calls for it. With the company’s new direction, James Morgan now has more extensive plans for the company, hoping to create operations that would serve not just the United Kingdom but also other European countries. This turn of events has shown the world that good things can come out of grueling times if companies are willing to slug it out and push even when there seems to be no hope.