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Last day for family-run butcher' s shop

By Lucy Todman | Chirk | Business | Published:

It's the end of an era for one family-run business which has shut up shop for the final time after almost 40 years in the trade.

Mark McArdle with his mother Sandra and sister Helen raise a glass to the future of the shop

Selling his sausages and parcelling up his pork for the final time, Mark McArdle, whose family-run butchers has been a feature of the high street in Chirk for almost 40 years, looks back fondly on his time in the border town.

And while it is sad that he and the rest of the McArdle family have decided to shut up shop - he is delighted that the new owner will be carrying on the family tradition.

On Saturday customers in the shop shared a glass of bubbly with the McArdle family and the staff to mark the end of the business.

Mark's dad Steve first opened a butcher's shop in Chirk in 1981 before moving to its current location in 1985. His wife and children soon became involved in the running of the business which was renowned for the quality of its meat.

Mark with staff

But Steve died in December 2017 after an 18-month battle with cancer, and that ultimately led to the family deciding to close the business.

"Things don't always work out the way you think," said Mark. "But I know that Chirk will welcome Jamie and his team to the town. We have been here for such a long time and it is lovely that the business will be remaining the same just under a different name."

Jamie is local pork producer Jamie Ward and he promises his family-run business will carry on the good name of his predecessor.

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And when he opens the doors of the shop tomorrow morning to welcome in his first customers, people will see that little has changed.

"We are really excited about it," said Jamie, who will be running the business with his wife Janet and children Dave and Tori.

End of an era

"Steve had a great reputation and we will be building on that. We will put our own stamp on things of course but there are parallels between his family and ours."

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Jamie has long been known for his love of local produce and he is keen to ensure that all he stocks is traceable and well sourced.

"We started in the farmers' market 20 years ago and that was because pig farming was struggling," he said. "We recently moved in to a garden centre at Holt near Wrexham and we have wanted to develop the business and this seemed ideal as it was closer to home.

"We really want to become part of Chirk. It is a really busy shop with a great reputation and it is brilliant that we can just move in. We will just put our own stamp on it and make it our business now. We will be selling our own meat, our homemade pies and own cured bacon, because that's what we do."

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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