A FARMER turned butcher is celebrating half a century in business.
Doug Spence joined staff to mark the 50th anniversary of Spence Butchers in Dean Road.
The celebrations were also in aid of Mr Spence’s recovery after a heart bypass, which he hope will enable him to return to work full time, at the age of 80.
Spence Butchers was set up in 1961 by Mr Spence, who was a farmer in Burniston at the time.
He and his wife Kath decided to open their own shop to sell their produce, and the business was born.
The Spences ran the shop and the farm in conjunction until six years ago, when they had to let go of the farm.
The business also included a bakery up until four years ago.
The butchers is still going strong though, and has recently welcomed on board Mr Spence’s son Len.
Mrs Spence said: “We are still very much a family-run business, and are very pleased to have made it to 50 years.
“We didn’t really think about how long we would last when we set the butchers up, which doesn’t feel as long ago as 50 years ago.
“Doug still loves it as much as he ever has. He is doing well after the operation and is keen to return full time.
“It is also really good to be able to welcome Len on board full time, as he used to split his time between the shop and the farm.”
Mrs Spence said when they opened their shop in 1961, there were seven butchers in Dean Road.
Now they are the only business of their kind remaining.
Mrs Spence said: “I think we have survived all these years because of our reputation for quality products and personal service.
“We also have very loyal customers. We have had the same people coming to us for many years, and now see the next generations in their families coming to us too.
“I think we will have many more years left in us yet, as long as we continue to get the support from local customers.”