Production Manager at Douglas Willis for over 20 years, Tony started his path to becoming an experienced butcher at the age of just 13, by working as a butcher boy delivering meat from the basket on his bike. He then went on to work as a butcher all over the UK before joining the team here.
When he’s not busy making sure that all our products come up to scratch he loves nothing more than a long dog walk with his beloved Labrador or enjoying his new-found passion for fly-fishing.
Well, my role is to oversee the production of all meat here at Douglas Willis. My days begin early, and I make sure all our equipment is ready for the day. I check that there is enough product for us to work on to make best use of the time and the team’s abilities. I’ll then brief the team for the day ahead. High standards are essential at each stage, so throughout the day I’ll continue to check all the meat that we cut.
I love passing my years of knowledge and experience onto the younger members of staff. The best way to learn is to get involved with lots of practical work, so I’m always showing them different cuts and sharing tips. As butchery is a dying trade it’s vital that we get more younger people interested.
Everything has changed around us. There are tighter regulations, constant changes to safety standards, and a lot more technical aspects to the work that we do. But what we’ve kept the same is the care and attention we put into raising and producing the best meat we can. So, we’ve adapted to all the changes by putting the same focus into training and developing our skills.
I’m incredibly proud of the Welsh Beef from our own farms here in the Usk Valley. To be able to raise cattle that we can hand-select to get the best quality and flavour is a real privilege and sets us apart from any of our competitors.
I’m also proud to work for a business that constantly listens to its customers, understanding their needs and meeting specific requests to offer exceptional service.
I love a whole beef chuck joint. It’s a lesser-known cut but its fat quality, tenderness, and flavour when slow-cooked is unbeatable.