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History

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Over 600 years of family heritage

The Owton family have been farming on Chalcroft Farm for over 600 years with the earliest known records dating back to 1257. Rob Owton’s father traded cattle and wholesale meat in the 1920’s. In the 1960’s Rob was faced with the difficult decision between farming and butchery. He chose to work with his father in his wholesale meat business as farming would have meant working 7 days a week!

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Founded in 1976 at Chalcroft farm by Rob and Gill Owton, Owton’s Traditional Family Butchers has established itself as one of the premier wholesale butchers and farm shop proprietors in the country, continuing to thrive with a passion for delivering best customer service, quality, expert knowledge and advice.

Rob worked at his father’s original shop in Southampton and when Reginald retired in 1976, Rob and his wife Gill founded the R.Owton wholesale business on their farm.

They started selling to butchers and restaurants but as word spread an increasing number of retails customers turned up at the 225-acre farm that today supplies 40% of Chalcroft’s beef.

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By the early 1980’s the amount of retail customers coming through the door meant that plans were made for customers so it was decided that it was a good idea to convert a pig carving unit into a retail farm shop. They have been in the same premises ever since and the customer count is increasing year on year with a further two shops at Kimbridge in Romsey and Garsons in Titchfield.

In the mid-1980s two of Rob and Gill’s three sons, Billy and Simon joined the business with the third son helping out at busy times, and Billy and Simon now look after the original wholesale arm.

The Farmshop now has 14 staff, including John Harding the general manager who originally trained as a chef and joined the shop after a 13 year career in the meat trade.

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