Joe and Helen Montgomery are the proud directors of Bramhall’s very own HG Beards. Helen is a full-time teacher, whereas Joe spends his working days at the butchers.
Joe was born locally in Cheadle Hulme and has lived either there or in Bramhall most of his life, along with brief spells in South Wales and Stockport. We met up with Joe to find out more about him and the wonderful butchers that we’ve all come to know and love.
Before his new ownership of Beards in April 2017, he worked for a meat manufacturer/processor. The previous owner, Jim, and Joe were in talks for over a year and when the deal was done, the butchers changed hands. Joe’s meat background started in his teens when he worked at a butcher in Cheadle Hulme on Church Road – The Village Fruiterer (you may remember!) – for six years. That eventually shut down and Joe moved more into the manufacturing side of things. This brought up more roles including Quality / Technical Management and Product Development as food safety and product legality quality and customer service for Joe to add to his repertoire.
“I’ve always been in and around meat [industry] so my knowledge and understanding of it are obviously good.”
Beards itself started in 1908! There is no longer a Beard involved in the business, but the landlady is a lady called Margaret who was a partner to Harold Beard many years ago. Although the link may be vague, it’s nice to hear that the tradition of a Beard always being linked has lived on over 100 years.
The meat that Beards buy is from farms such as Clapgate Farm near Crewe (beef), Shenton’s Farm in Handforth (lamb) and Nixon’s Farm in Heald Green (pork). This means that not only do you know all of the meat you get from Beards is of an excellent quality, but it is also wonderfully local!
The staff at Beards are second to none in their knowledge too, which is part of the reason why Joe felt so comfortable with taking over the butchers. Joe and his team make their own sausages, their own gammon, their own bacon. They do orders to restaurants, nursing homes and schools. Bramhall restaurants are also big fans of Beards, with places like Chilli Banana using them from just a few doors down!
Plans for the future consist of keeping the source and the quality of the current products the same as well as ADDING to the amazing range they already supply! More convenient foods are in the pipeline such as beef roulade, chicken cushions and chicken pockets. You’ll have to pop in and try them for yourself because they all sound delicious!
Joe is a big fan of his own customers Chilli Banana and often eats there as well as at Mercato and goes for drinks at the Mounting Stone and Bubble Room. Whether it be with friends, with each other or with their kids Joshua (9) and Eve (7), Joe and Helen are often out and about in Bramhall enjoying everything the village has to offer. They support local businesses as we all should with places like Beards too.
If you’re a fan of meat and want to try something new, it’s definitely worth nipping into Beards to see what is new on offer there. They’ve got a reputation of over 100 years of excellent meat and if you’ve never tried it, now is the time to do so! We’re very lucky to have Beards in our village and we absolutely LOVE it!