AFTER 30 years as a butcher on Bacup Market Ray Cross has finally taken ownership of his own stall.
To customers, the farmer and butcher has been a familiar figure since he was just 16 but, unbeknown to them, the stall has always been owned by Ray’s older brother Philip.
“Philip has just turned 60 and has decided to retire,” said Ray, 46. “This gave me the chance of taking over the stall in Bacup and I have already started to make it my own.
“Many of the customers have noticed changes and remarked on it and were surprised to find out I had never owned the stall before.”
Having a herd of 30 Aberdeen Angus and Red Poll cattle on the family farm in Bacup, Ray can vouch for the meat he sells right back to the farm gate.
He runs the stall with wife Michaela and between them they have four children with older daughters Georgina and Libby, both 14, helping out. Dad Norman also lives on the farm.
Ray said: “Georgina likes to serve on the stall whereas Libby is more of an outdoors person and helps with the stock.
“My nephew has a farm in Dumfries and at Christmas we will be selling pork that has been reared at his farm in Scotland.
“It is important we know where the food we sell comes from so that my customers know, and that goes for the sausages and the steak right down to the more unusual ostrich, venison and pheasant.”
Michaela helps to run the stall in between working as a receptionist at Rossendale’s Primary Care Centre in Rawtenstall.
She said: “There are so many new people coming to live in Bacup, they need to call down into the centre and see just what the market and town centre has to offer.
“I love living on the farm and have always loved the cows. We know the animals we sell have all been well looked after throughout their time on the farm.”
The stall is open Wednesdays and Saturdays and will be opening during the late night shopping in Bacup on December 10 and 17.