Businesses in Kendal are taking part in #yourewelcomekendal, a campaign to promote all the fantastic cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars, producers and food retailers in the town.
As part of the campaign we’ve been catching up with the people behind the businesses to find out why they love what they do.
Rob Unwin grew up rearing animals on a smallholding and swapped a life working in insurance in London to start butcher shop Roast Mutton, in Woolpack Yard, Kendal.
“I have a natural enthusiasm for good living,” says Rob.
“I love eating and drinking well. I have fantastic memories as a kid of raising goslings and piglets, but then also coming to know that they are being raised for a purpose. It gave me a real insight into how meat can be produced but in a high quality and ethical way.
“Nearly everything we sell is sourced within Cumbria. The pork comes from Barrows Green, the lamb and beef comes from Levens and the mutton from Grasmere. So it’s about the best local produce, combined with good service and traditional butchery.
“I’ve always been very, very interested in the quality of meat, how it’s grown, animal welfare, and how that all comes together to produce the perfect steak or a perfect roast joint. I started by doing a couple of different butchery courses and I absolutely loved it. I used to get the train from London to work in a small family butcher shop in Lancashire on weekends. It’s a great trade, you’re part of the community and you’re offering people a real service and you do make a difference.
“We’re very fortunate in Kendal to have traditional farmers nearby; small scale operations where people really care. We also have two small, local, high quality abattoirs, which is absolutely worth its weight in gold for a butcher like myself.
“Since I opened the business I’ve really built great relationships with people. That’s a huge part of the job. We live in a day and age really where everything is online so it’s lovely to get to know people face to face. I love being able to help customers out if they want something special, or giving them advice on what to cook and how. It adds that little bit of extra service you don’t always get and it’s really nice to be able to talk to people about the meat and the process and how it’s reared. You get to know different people’s needs and it’s much more personal service than just picking something off the shelf at the supermarket.
“Other people in the area have been really supportive since I opened. There’s a really friendly group of businesses in this little area in Woolpack Yard and everyone looks out for each other and the businesses in the wider town all supply each other as well, so it’s a real community.
“The best thing about my job is sourcing quality. It’s really exciting when you discover a farmer who really produces something special. Then you know you’re giving customers a fantastic product that they’re not going to get anywhere else. I get a real buzz from bringing the farmer and the customer together.”
You can check out Roast Mutton at www.roastmutton.co.uk
#yourewelcomekendal is being funded by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund. The Welcome Back Fund is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and HM Government as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.