For more than a century three generations of the Howard family have been making sausages from a family recipe deemed fit for a Royal.

With a flagship butcher’s shop in Gayton, near King’s Lynn, another inside Rising Lodge Farm Shop and a third store in West Newton, Julian and Clare Howard have held a warrant for the past seven years, providing produce to the Royal household when they are in residence at Sandringham. Now, with the help of Stephenson Smart, the couple are expanding the business to introduce a fourth generation of their family into the business as they reapply for the Royal Warrant to serve King Charles.

Clare said: “We have been with Stephenson Smart for five years, and we get on fantastically with them. They are so on the ball; Claire Melton is so easy to talk to and explains everything brilliantly.

“Her advice was to use different business structures for different parts of the business. We talked about doing this years ago with no clue what to do, but Claire has guided us through it, and I don’t think we would have done it without her.

“I have so much faith in them, and I feel confident to ask anything. I can’t fault Stephenson Smart.

“We are also bringing our son into the business to redesign our website and generate online sales, so he will be the fourth generation of the family involved.”

Howards Butchers began trading in 1920 after Julian’s grandfather Harry brought the property in Lynn Road, Gayton. Still working at 80, he finally handed the reins to Julian’s parents in 1974. Clare and Julian have run the business since 2002 and have since added a shop at West Newton on the Sandringham Estate and for the past two years they have been the butcher at Rising Lodge Farm Shop.

“We have expanded a lot with a licenced cutting plant, we’re licensed with the Soil Association and we have modernised the main shop” said Clare.
“When we closed the abattoir four years ago, we started developing our cooked pies and pastries with our homemade recipes and this has really taken off. Our scotch eggs are really popular, and we sell one of the only handmade stilton cheeses left in the world.

“We have 15 staff across three sites and we’re a close-knit group. You can’t sit still so we have always tried to adapt. During Covid we operated a doorstep delivery service and we have maintained a lot of customers since then. Others have been with us so long they remember Julian as a child.”
Julian’s father dreamt of having the Royal Warrant and after they took over the West Newton shop, they decided to apply for it in his memory.
They have held it since 2017 and are one of only 550 warrant holders in the country, many of which are much larger companies.

Clare said: “He would have been so proud, it’s such a lovely legacy. You must re-apply for it after so many years, so we have been invited to do that now to serve King Charles.

“Prince Phillip used to pop into the shop when he was still driving and we were told that he really loved our sausages, which made us very happy because it was Julian’s grandfather’s recipe and Kate and William have also been in.”

Claire Melton, partner at Stephenson Smart said: “We have supported Clare and Julian with annual compliance and taxation requirements, but when they were considering a new location, it was the perfect time to look at business structure, doing things differently and it was a great opportunity for them.

“We work to support our retail clients by finding the best structure to work for their business and them personally, advising them on their working cashflow requirements, levels of stock and also how to deal with VAT.

“Howards Butchers are a joy to work with. Both Stephenson Smart and Howards Butchers are steeped in Norfolk history with our businesses more than 100 years old, so we share very similar values and ethos in the way we work, which makes our partnership a really great one.”

Howards Butchers
Howards Butchers

We have been with Stephenson Smart for five years, and we get on fantastically with them. They are so on the ball; Claire Melton is so easy to talk to and explains everything brilliantly. Her advice was to use different business structures for different parts of the business. We talked about doing this years ago with no clue what to do, but Claire has guided us through it, and I don’t think we would have done it without her. I have so much faith in them, and I feel confident to ask anything. I can’t fault Stephenson Smart.

Clare Howard, Owner, Howards Butchers

Howards Butchers

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