Butchers merge to form new business

Two of Merseyside’s oldest established independent butchers have merged. G A Johnson and Sons, based in Maghull, and JE Cook Butchers from Rainford are, from today, trading as Cook & Johnson Butchers.

Between them, the two companies can boast more than 200 years’ butchery experience, serving the north west and now aim to expand the new business further.

G A Johnson and Sons was formerly based in Aughton Street, Ormskirk, before moving to Maghull 36 years ago, while J E Cook Butchers has served the community for more than 60 years from its premises in Rainford, which has housed a butcher’s shop since 1880.

The new company will operate from the existing retail, catering and farm-assured abattoir premises in Ormskirk Road, Rainford, while the Maghull site in Moss Lane will be the centre of an exciting new development plan for the business, to be announced later this year.

Existing jobs have been safeguarded and up to three new jobs will be created immediately, with more job opportunities planned in the future as the new business develops, the company said.


Mike Cook and Dave Johnson, third- and fourth-generation butchers, have now taken over as directors of the newly merged business.

Announcing the plans, Dave said: “The new business will enable us to develop new clients as well as securing our existing customer base. By using the premises to their full potential, we will be able to develop the retail side by offering new products alongside our ready meals, barbecue packs, hog roasts, cooked meats and speciality sausages.”


Mike added: “This will be a strong, vibrant business. The quality and range of products we will be able to supply will be unmatched in the region. We will be aiming to extend our client base among local authorities, schools, nursing homes, restaurants and pubs, while at the same time offering an unparalleled choice to our retail customers. We operate under EC licence and have complete traceability for all our products.


“Both of our former businesses are delighted with this outcome. The merger is the result of a long-standing family relationship and both Dave and I would like to thank our parents for their help and guidance in setting up the new venture.”