'No horsing about here': Horsemeat scandal is boost for Caverswall butchers
HUMOROUS signs about the horse meat scandal have helped a butcher's burgers become a firm favourite with shoppers.
Although the going may not be good for supermarket ready meals, Bickerton Brothers says its 100 per cent beef products are galloping out of the shop.
It even has a sign outside, reading: "Our horses are in the field, not in your burgers."
And customers are visiting the Caverswall shop just to photograph the sign and upload it on to Facebook.
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Sales assistant Emma Hollins, who created the sign said: "We can't make enough burgers at the moment, demand is so high."
The 33-year-old, from Meir, added: "It's my job to write on the chalkboards so I try to come up with something amusing that will draw people in.
"I've also added to the sign so it reads, 'No horsing about here.'
"It's attracted a lot of attention. We have three horses in our field, which adds to the joke, but it's a good way of getting a serious point across in an amusing way. Our customers love the sign, they come in smirking and it's a real talking point.
"We've even had people stop and take pictures of it, so they can put it on Facebook.
"We have our regular customers but lately we are spotting lots of new faces which have been drawn in by the sign."
The family-run abattoir and butcher's has seen an increase in custom since the horse scandal broke.
Owner Michael Bickerton said: "The scandal does seem to have had a positive effect on business. I've spoken to other local butchers and they have all noticed an increase in trade.
"I think some consumers have lost faith in supermarket ready-meals. They feel they have been misled and denied the opportunity of making an informed choice."
The 44-year-old, from Forsbrook, is the third generation of Bickertons to run the business.
He said: "We are constantly having to battle against the major supermarkets. If one good thing comes out of this whole scandal, it will be that more people buy their meat from small, local butchers."
Pauline Johnson lives in Caverswall and has been a customer at Bickertons for more than 20 years. She said: "The sign is very amusing, but then the staff are always good for a laugh.
"I regularly buy meat from them, including beef.You know what you are getting when you use a local butcher."
The 63-year-old has been concerned about the horse meat scandal, but says she has confidence in the meat she buys.
She said: "Buying locally is handy for me and I pop to the shop most days. I always know I'm buying quality meat and it's often cheaper than buying from the supermarket.
"I have eaten horse as a child, so I'm not horrified at the prospect. However, it's the fact that the meat is labelled wrongly. It's taken away the customers right to choose what they buy and eat."