Meet the Experts – Rob Robson at Rob's Quality Butchers

21 February 2018

HE’S been selling meat to the people of Sunderland for more than 20 years, and butcher Rob Robson hopes to be here for at least another 20.

As one of the city’s leading independent traders, he’s taken the rough with the smooth and admits that while it can be hard at times, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s what I love, that’s why I’m still here,” he said. “I’m Sunderland born and bred, I love the city, I love the people and I love what I do. If I didn’t I’d be doing something else.”

The owner of Rob’s Quality Butchers at Blandford Street, Rob serves thousands of customers every week. With a customer base of both new and regular visitors, Rob believes his business has continued to grow, thanks to the quality of meat and the personal approach that shopping local gives.

“We offer a completely different shopping experience to the big supermarkets and chains. We don’t sell the same things,” he said.

“Our clients know they are going to get the highest quality meat and they get the personal approach coming in and chatting to us. This is one of the things that make smaller businesses a success.”

As times change and more and more people opt to shop online, Rob says he has seen a trend of more businesses going the same way, which is something he refuses to do.

“Of course it’s easier and cheaper to set up as a company from a website only, but you’re never going to understand your customers like you would if you were actually meeting and chatting to them.

“Being an independent trader takes commitment and is a lot of work, but it really is worth it. I serve 3000 people a week and they come back because they know what they’re getting, they know it’s quality produce and they enjoy the experience of coming into a local shop, meeting the owners and supporting the business.

“Sunderland is still a great place to be and I’d honestly encourage anyone who may want to set up a shop to come into Sunderland city centre. Unless, of course, they want to open a butchers shop, in which case I’d tell them to go elsewhere!”