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Catherine takes over the family butchers in Swansea Market

Catherine Butler is used to being a woman in a man’s world.

After more than a decade helping her father run the family’s abattoir and butchers, she has officially taken the reins as the owner of the company following her father Hugh’s retirement. 

The transition was marked by her winning Food Standards Agency approval meaning that she is now fully responsible for the business rather than operating under a provisional license.

Hugh Phillips Butchers dates back to 1878 and is unusual in having its own abattoir, which means that all the meat it sells is totally traceable, right down to which farm and which animal it came from. 

As she takes the helm, Catherine is looking forward to maintaining the company’s high standards.

“I enjoy being able to select the very best animals so that we have the best possible product to process and sell,” she said. “My focus is on upholding the quality standards, with great care taken at every stage of the process.”

She will also be expanding Hugh Phillips’ sales reach by offering its products via online mail order. A website with a shopping cart will go live soon.

“It’s exciting and daunting to be taking over here,” she said. “I’ve helped my father out since I was about six, when I used to stand on a crate to help dice meat. As soon as I was old enough to see over the counter I was allowed to help out on the market stall.”

She is now curious to find out if she is the only woman in the UK to run an abattoir and butchers.

Hugh Phillips Gower Butchers in an FSB Swansea Bay member and is based at Wern Fabian Farm, Llanmorlais, Gower, and has a stall in the heart of Swansea Market