A chef and a former butcher have joined forces to launch a new business aimed at celebrating high-quality meat.
Yorkshireman, Douglas Staton, and Lancastrian, Alex McKay, have set up Manchester-based charcuterie brand, Northern Cure.
The pair have launched the business during the coronavirus lockdown, selling from an online shop - with a view to selling their exclusive products via a deli.
Chef, Douglas, and former butcher turned e-commerce specialist, Alex, have worked together before and started ‘messing around’ with ideas before Northern Cure was born.
“We’re all about high-welfare meat,” Douglas said. “We started out doing events and pop-ups just to try and get a bit of a buzz going, but it was clear we needed some investment.”
That investment came in the form of a Start Up Loan from Virgin StartUp, which has allowed them to trademark their brand name, purchase specialist equipment and undertake a series of marketing and branding projects to help spread the word.
But launching in lockdown came with obvious challenges.
Douglas said: “Just before lockdown, the premises where we were located suffered fire damage. Then, when lockdown hit, there were delays in getting people to assess everything, so we weren’t able to produce what we wanted, so we’ve had to move premises.
“With lockdown, the little markets that we’d planned to be featured in were cancelled, so we had to adapt to the situation. We’ve launched online, selling home curing kits – our take on the food boxes that have been going out across the country.
“Now we’ve secured a bit more funding, we’re raring to go with lots of ideas. You just have to accept the situation and channel your energy into different projects.”
With the launch of Northern Cure, the duo are looking to celebrate high-quality meat.
Douglas added: “For me, meat is part of being a chef. Though we’re not out to convert non-meat eaters. What is damaging is that meat is so readily available and cheap, and people want certain cuts. With charcuterie, we’re using every part of the animal. For example, we can get seven or eight different products from a pig. It’s very sustainable and a better quality.
“If an animal has been treated badly, it’s reflected in the quality of the product, so we’re invested into the quality of life the animal has. If people are consuming meat, they should be consuming good quality meat, and sometimes that means spending more.”
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