THE future of Newton Abbot’s premier butcher was, for a time, uncertain, but it’s making a comeback, and it promises to be better than ever.

It was with a heavy heart that Ant Churchward shut the doors, for what was thought to be the last time, at Queen Street Butchers in late September.

Several issues had befallen the beloved butchers, whether it be the refrigeration unit packing up or the main counter breaking down.

And this is without mentioning the increasing energy costs, which is an ever-present issue for Queen Street Butchers, as well as many other businesses, have had to contend with.

The doors were, therefore, closed on September 30 and it looked as though the fate of Queen Street Butchers was sealed.

But this was not so.

The shop reopened on Tuesday, October 17, after a customer approached Ant with an offer to keep the beloved butchers from closing.

‘My partner and I heard about the closure on Facebook’ said Debbie Smith, who left the hospitality trade, having spent more than ten years at the Hare and Hounds in Kingskerswell, to partner with Ant at Queen Street Butchers.

‘And my partner was like “that can’t happen!”, so that’s how it came about’ she added.

As always, the focus for Ant remains on the local. ‘We are supporting the local farming community and the local abattoir, offering properly matured beef and much more’ Ant said.

The shop is to shut on November 6 for two to three weeks for a revamp, and while not ideal, Ant promises it’ll be better than ever.

‘It’s going to be worth the wait’ Ant said.

‘One of the things I am most excited about is having the heritage of the old shop on the wall, will all the original hanging rails taken down, polished and put back up - it’s going to be great’ he added.

The newly revamped shop, as envisioned by Ant and Debbie, aims to be a ‘Darts Farm’ style outlet, offering high quality, locally sourced produce, whether it be meat, cheese, wine, eggs, honey and so on.

‘We are really excited’ Debbie said.

‘It a butchers at the end of the day, it’s been here for years so it is really important that we keep that part of it’ she added.