Scott Brothers Butchers has been providing high-quality products to Dundee since 1935, but the past year has emphasised its vital role in local communities like Broughty Ferry.
Since the start of the pandemic, Scott Brothers Butchers has adapted like many other businesses – most notably, it saw online orders explode during lockdown.
But now, as restrictions ease, its looking forward to welcoming customers back in line with guidance. That includes the Nethergate shop, which is reopening after temporarily closing at the end of December.
After all, strong relationships with customers has helped to make Scott Brothers Butchers successful. While online orders have proven popular recently, the company is still firmly rooted in the local area and its shops remain at the forefront of the business.
The Broughty Ferry branch, which has remained opened throughout the past year, is a great example of this. We spoke to the shop’s manager, Craig White, to find out more.
Keeping Broughty Ferry well fed
Craig, who’s celebrating his 50th birthday and 34 years with the company in 2021, offers a unique insight into Scott Brothers Butchers.
His first job at the company in 1987 was as an apprentice, before he became a manager at the age of 26.
He worked at the Wellgate store for 13 years, but has been enjoying managing the Broughty Ferry branch in recent years. “Although it’s part of Dundee, it feels like it’s more a sort of village or town. It’s a good atmosphere,” says Craig.
Over his three decades with the company, he’s seen first-hand Scott Brothers Butchers’ innovation when it comes to new products.
And he’s also seen the industry progress, too – ensuring the shop meets standards, rules and regulations is a big part of his job nowadays. He adds: “The shops have changed dramatically. When I first started there was sawdust on the floor!”
But the fundamentals of his work are the same as they’ve always been: that is selling good products, providing great customer service, offering valuable knowledge and being honest.
It’s this he loves most. “I was always interested in the retail side, so making nice displays in the cabinets. But at the end of the day, the people that make your job are the customers. You never know from day to day what you’re going to get,” explains Craig.
“Every customer has different needs, you’ve got a young customer who’s maybe cooking for the first time and you’ve also got an older customer who’s been coming to you for 20 or 30 years. So it’s very diverse.”
Having a sense of humour has proven important, as is building trust with customers, many of whom enjoy coming in for a chat. “I’ve served a lot of these customers for over 20 years, so they get to know who you are and you know a lot about their lives. It’s quite personal a lot of the time,” says Craig.
“50% of what you do is how you sell and the product you sell, but the other 50% is the customer service, and how you are as a person and a business as a whole towards that customer.
“If you’ve got a good product and you also sell it well, and you can be genuine, and they feel that when they come in here they’re part of the family, that works better.”
The approach seems to work too, with Craig and Scott Brothers Butchers boasting a number of longstanding, regular customers.
Lena Coull, for example, reckons she’s been going to the Broughty Ferry branch for around 20 years or more.
She and her husband enjoy the products on offer, as well as the friendly service.
“The quality of all types of butcher meat, beef, pork and lamb is excellent, and cut to the customers own requirements. Their fresh whole chickens are also worth the price,” says Lena.
“This also goes for the first class, friendly service from all the employees.”
Continuing to serve the local community
It’s not just Craig working away at the Broughty Ferry branch of Scott Brothers Butchers. He’s got “a good mix of staff” with him, including a butcher, young apprentice and trainee manager.
Together the team has kept the store open, even throughout the bad weather experienced in the area earlier this year. “You feel like you need to get to your work, we had staff walking in,” says Craig, when discussing the importance of remaining open.
They had the same attitude during the pandemic, too: “You knew that you had to be there serving the public because food was so important.”
The team worked early mornings during the initial lockdown just to keep up with customer orders, and they did everything they could to keep customers safe and served correctly.
After a busy year, they appreciate that customers continue to support the shop.
“Thank you to our customers for all their loyalty over the last year. Hopefully you’ll keep coming back!” adds Craig.
The Broughty Ferry branch is open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm. You can speak to Craig or another friendly member of the team on 01382 480125.
Other Scott Brothers Butchers shops can be found on Strathmartine Road and at Nethergate.
Find out more about Scott Brothers Butchers’ products, shops and provenance at its website here.