Interview – Paul Turner
PAUL TURNER OWNER OF TRADITIONAL FAMILY BUTCHERS ALF TURNER, AND MEAT SUPPLIER TO AVIATOR, SHARES WITH US THE LONG HISTORY OF THE BUSINESS AND HOW THEY ARE CONTINUING TO OFFER A FIRST CLASS SERVICE.
The business was established in 1956 when my Grandfather, Alf Turner, opened his shop at 205 North Lane, Aldershot, knocking out the front window of his home and opening a Butchers shop from his front room! The business still operates from these premises more than 50 years later. Alf served in the Royal Army Service Corp for nearly 20 years working as the Chief Butcher Instructor teaching butchery skills to all the squaddies, and in 1947 Alf was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to the meat industry.
After Alf?s death in 1973 the business passed to my father and his brothers and then 8 years ago to my brother Kevin and myself. Being a butcher is definitely in our blood! Although a great deal has changed since the shop originally opened all those years ago, the techniques we employ are still fundamentally the same processes that my Grandfather used. Since Kevin and I took over, we have tried to move the business forward, not because we felt it was stagnant but because we wanted to evolve the business and try new ideas whilst still sustaining the family heritage that Alf set all those years ago. We source the best local ingredients from local suppliers with the same traditional values as our own.
Recipes have been passed down through the years and whilst we stay true to our heritage using ingredients that would have been around 20-30 years ago, we like to add our own modern twist. This is usually with the names of the meat produce rather than the ingredients themselves. I will leave the chilli and chocolate combinations to the confectioners! We did however recently introduce the Dragon?s fury sausage which lists Dragon?s Blood superhot chillies as one of its ingredients, one I?m not sure my Grandfather would be up for trying! Our customers are the best critics and we always try new sausage combinations out on them as we know they will give us an honest opinion. We have families that have been loyal customers for generations. I think that is the key to our success: building long lasting relationships, built on trust.
We established a relationship with Aviator three years ago, a relationship that has strengthened and developed during that time. We now work with Head Chef Adam Fargin, discussing new menus and selecting meats and suggesting seasonal produce that will inspire his dishes. It?s always interesting for us to see how a Chef can develop a dish using the best quality ingredients and enhance the flavour of the meat.
We deliver fresh cuts of meat to Aviator two or three times a day. With the dishes on the One Eleven menu we supply the same quality meat that is used in the Brasserie. The dishes may be value for money but they shouldn?t compromise on quality. The beef in the Aviator Signature beef burger is prime beef mince, the best that you can get and the sausages used in the Bangers & Mash are a traditional yet delicate blend of herbs and seasoning to create a subtle yet distinct flavour. This sausage has won multiple Regional and National awards including the National Branded Sausage of the Year and certainly lives up to its name of ?Best of British?.
We?re really excited about Adam?s new One Eleven menu. A concept that has always revolved around good quality home cooked food using fresh local and seasonal produce, the new menu combines British classics but with a nod to Creole and flavours from the Deep South. Simple, tasty food that lets the flavours and quality of ingredients do the talking. We feel very fortunate to be suppliers to Aviator and honoured that our meat can be used in such exciting and mouth-watering dishes. I think my Grandfather Alf would be extremely proud.
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