Tipperary man (29) to open ‘The Gourmet Butcher’ at The Showgrounds Shopping Centre in Clonmel

Kevin Walsh previously managed butchers in Dungarvan and Cork.

Dylan White

Reporter:

Dylan White

Email:

dylan.white@iconicnews.ie

A Tipperary man has crafted a teenage dream into reality and is set to open his own butchers in Clonmel this week.
Ballyneale’s Kevin Walsh is feeling proud ahead of launching ‘The Gourmet Butcher’ at The Showgrounds Shopping Centre on Friday (March 23rd).
Having mustered up over a decade of craft butcher experience, the 29-year-old has taken on “the biggest challenge” of his life. “It’s huge starting my own business and it’s probably one of the most important decision I’ll ever make,” Kevin tells The Nationalist
“I am very nervous but excited at the same time. Ever since I got work experience at a butchers in Carrick-on-Suir at the age of 15, it has always been a dream to open a shop on my own. Over the years I have gained an understanding and an appreciation of what it takes to make it, and it was just about getting the timing right. It’s a massive step but if I don’t try it now I will always regret it. I am young and have the energy and time to put everything into it,” an entrepreneurial Kevin says.
High-quality local produce will be top of the counter at The Gourmet Butcher. “Everything will be of the highest quality, produced on site to ensure products that we can stand over. My first two orders went directly to two local farmers as opposed to two meat factories. Our emphasis will be ‘support local, provide consistent quality and excellent customer service’.
“I am working very closely with local producers and farmers to bring something unique to The Gourmet Butcher - Comeragh Mountain Lamb in Lemybrien to provide a very natural lamb product; John Commins from Two Mile Borris to bring Piedmontese beef to Clonmel; and Crowe’s Farm in Dundrum to provide top quality traditional meats,” Kevin explains.
The Gourmet Butcher will compliment traditional butchering methods in a modern retail setting. The shop will cater for everyone, offering extra ingredients for those interested in fitness and people with hectic lifestyles. “People are seeking healthier options and The Gourmet Butcher will provide them. The promotion of healthy eating on social media and TV shows has generally got people asking about where their food is coming from.
“The health and fitness market is an area I really want to focus on. I will have a large pre-pack display that can be browsed and I am working on getting the health and fitness range in the shop all macronutrient labelled. I was company director in a butcher's down in Cork before I took on this venture and I had all the products analyzed and had the macronutrients on the labels. People who are training hard need to fuel their bodies properly and there will be an extensive nutritious range to meet their needs,” Kevin continues.
Kevin, who has managed renowned butchers across the country, believes it's “exciting times” for dining at home. “Cooking has become an event with dinner parties and family gatherings and it’s probably a lot to do with social media. Years ago if you wanted to make something you would have to buy a cookery book, but nowadays you can get a Michelin star chef on your phone who will give you a step by step tutorial on whatever you fancy.
“When people are hosting events they want everything to be right and that’s where The Gourmet Butcher comes in. We will use our expertise and give you the best advice and quality produce on the market. We will also have a range of oils, sauces and spices to go with our meats,” Kevin smiles.
Kevin has been living in Clonmel the past two years and says the “buzz” around The Showgrounds Shopping Centre gave him that extra push to locate The Gourmet Butcher in the town. He has two staff members already on board and plans to grow the team in the weeks to come. Kevin hopes to launch a click and collect service that will take The Gourmet Butcher to the next level. “I plan on starting small and building from there. The layout of the shop will give people the freedom to browse what’s on offer and have the option of purchasing high-quality products.
“The Gourmet Butcher will be a great addition to The Showgrounds Shopping Centre, the town of Clonmel and surrounding areas. The welcoming atmosphere in the shop will be topped off with exceptional traditional meats and excellent customer service,” Kevin highlights.
Kevin has been blown away by the support of family and friends. “It’s a lonely place starting a business on your own, but the support of my partner, family and friends has been unbelievable. I have all local tradesmen and contractors working on the shop and they have been so supportive.
“I could have bought a house or set up my own business. I am not a gambler by nature but it was in my head to just do it. Because I am so young and taking a risk people have really gone out of their way to help me. From my contractors to refrigeration suppliers, they will take a phone call at any time about something that concerns me. That’s the beauty of dealing with people who are local. They are always willing to listen and reassure me,” Kevin adds.
The Gourmet Butcher’s opening hours are Monday to Thursday and Saturday 8am-6pm, Friday 8am-7pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. The shop is a short stroll from Clonmel town centre and customers can also avail of free parking at The Showgrounds Shopping Centre.
Check out ‘The Gourmet Butcher-Clonmel’ on Facebook and Instagram and visit thegourmetbutcher.ie.