Award-winning butcher and his ever-expanding empire
Arthur Howell is a familiar name in Wells-Next-The Sea. A fourth generation butcher with a reputation for providing high quality, locally sourced meat, the business has expanded over the years to include the local delicatessen, bakery and fishmongers, all bearing the name Howell and all located on Staithe Street.
Arthur Howell Butchers is a family affair. Arthur’s great-grandfather founded the original business back in 1889, and both his grandfather and father were also butchers. They take great pride in the quality of their meat, selling traditionally hung beef and game.
Along with a large loyal customer base in the community, they supply some of the leading hotels and restaurants in Norfolk.
The shop in Wells is the ‘head office’. Using their own abattoir at the rear of the premises, they are able to process meat sourced from local Norfolk farmers who share the same attitude to high standards and animal welfare as themselves.
Arthur and his team are always on hand to advise customers which cuts are best for different meals, how to prepare the meat, and how to cook it. They also offer a free local delivery service up to 10 miles from the shop.
The family have another butcher’s shop in Burnham Market, and a smokehouse at Binham.
Arthur champions local game due to its great taste, good value and sustainability. In Norfolk, edible game birds and mammals are plentiful, and the meat packed full of natural flavours. Deer from the Holkham and Houghton Estates provide Arthur with venison during the game season. Pheasants, partridges, duck, hares, rabbits and pigeons are also sold seasonally.
Not content with a traditional butchery business, the Howell family have diversified into other areas.
Alexandra, Arthur’s daughter, runs the Howell Bakery. She spent 2 years learning the butchery trade before taking on the bakery. Alongside fresh bread and filled rolls you’ll find cakes, pastries and fresh cream meringues. The signature sausage rolls are made with Howell’s own sausage meat.
The Howell Fishmongers, just opposite the bakery, offers fresh and sustainable produce. Crabs and lobsters are caught locally by Wells-based fishing company A M Frarys, while other fish such as pollock, hake, mackerel, sea bass and salmon comes from further afield.
The Howell Delicatessen further along the street is the place to go if you’re packing a picnic. From spit-roasted chicken, pies and cooked meats, to individual quiches, olives, antipasto and an impressive choice of cheese, you won’t leave empty handed.
In addition to the shops on Staithe Street, Arthur also runs a popular hog roast business, supplying weddings, festivals, private parties and other events with a traditional Norfolk Hog Roast.
Arthur likes to get involved with local festivals and community events, often teaming up with local hotelier and chef Chris Coubrough.
They have collaborated on live demonstrations at the North Norfolk Food & Drink Festival, the East Anglian Game & Country Fair and The Royal Norfolk Show, showcasing the butchery profession in the process.
They also encourage the next generation, joining forces to take catering students on a tour of the butcher’s shop and abattoir, before passing on their knowledge to the chefs, caterers and food producers of the future.
Arthur’s efforts in the butchery business have not gone unnoticed. The Farm Shop & Deli Awards, an event that attracts thousands of food producers, suppliers and retailers from all over the country, awarded him Butcher of the Year 2016. He also won the overall award for Retailer of the Year 2016.
More recently, Arthur was nominated in The Aylsham Show’s Food & Drink Hero Awards aimed at businesses who have been innovative and supportive during lockdown.
One can only wonder what area this enterprising family will venture into next? Watch this space!
Arthur Howell Butchers
53 Staithe Street
T: 01328 710228