Long Melford longevity

Fifth-generation butcher Oliver Ruse is celebrating 150 years of family ownership at his shop in Suffolk.

The Long Melford-based operator set up a barbecue outside the retail outlet on 3 July, serving 1 burgers to locals to commemorate the historic landmark. Oliver had 7ft banners designed for the occasion, depicting previous generations of his family, which will hang on the shop for the remainder of the summer.

"We source our meat locally and kill on the premises, so we have control over quality. Most butchers just have to make do with what they are given, but we know exactly what we're getting, whether it's grass- or corn-fed. We have gained something of a name locally people come to our shop from far and wide."

Oliver also put the longevity of the company down to the fact that his grandfather taught his father everything about the trade, and he followed suit. "There are butchers that have been here since I was a toddler we recognise experience and keep hold of quality butchers."

The Ruse & Son business was started in 1860. His father retired recently, leaving Oliver and his wife to take over the business.

A next-door abattoir, also part of the family firm, takes meat from local farmers and smallholders to supply the shop, at a rate of approximately 60 animals a week.