Ipswich food shop keeps bangers on the menu for a quarter of a century
PUBLISHED: 19:00 17 October 2019
Times are tough on the nation's high streets - but one independent Ipswich food shop has defied the years to celebrate a quarter of century of catering to the area's sausage fans.
Procters Sausages opened its doors in The Walk in the town centre in November 1994 and with the anniversary coinciding with British Sausage Week, it is holding a month of celebrations to honour the landmark.
And proprietor Simon Protheroe saw no reason why the company should not go from strength to strength.
The business has changed over the years - originally there were three shops, in Colchester and Cambridge as well as Ipswich, and now 90% of its sausages are sold through the catering business - but the loyal customer base and personal service from the Ipswich store means he sees a good future ahead.
But the Procters story started in London. Mr Protheroe explained: "During the late 80s/early 90s there was an explosion of interest in real sausages with shops opening up all over London. We bought a closed cafe in the capital, in Procter Street, and opened it as a sausage restaurant.
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"When we opened our shops, in Colchester, then Cambridge and Ipswich we kept the name - it seemed to have a good ring to it."
The Cambridge shop did not last long, and there was a shop in Colchester until 2017. Now, Ipswich is Procter's only retail outlet.
All the sausages are made at a butchery unit in Ipswich - and there are 80 different recipes that are used.
But one is head and shoulders above the rest. Mr Protheroe said: "About half the sausages we sell are Old English Breakfast Sausages - the traditional flavour. But there is plenty of variety.
"We use pork, beef, chicken, and venison in our sausages," Mr Protheroe said. "Not all recipes are available at the same time - but there is usually a good choice.
"Supermarkets now sell a selection of different sausage flavours - but the fact that ours are locally-made, you don't have to buy a packet of six and that our staff know the customers means I think there will be a place for us still for some time yet," Mr Protheroe added.
To mark the anniversary, Procters has commissioned special hats that are for sale - or are being given free with large orders - to customers over the next few weeks.