Cunningham's raise the ‘steaks' with new expansion

James Cunningham Jr and his family Donna, Charlotte and baby Sophia pictured with Clare Clarke from First Trust Bank outside the expanded premises in Kilkeel

CUNNINGHAM'S, a fourth-generation award-winning butchers in Kilkeel, is celebrating a century in business with a £250,000 investment in its facilities.

It has expanded its footprint with the creation of a new shop at the Quays shopping centre in Newry and also added a fully licensed cocktail bar at its restaurant in its Kilkeel premises.

Over the past five years the business - which currently holds the titles of ‘Best Butcher Shop' in both the UK and Ireland along with a number of other accolades - has increased its workforce from five to 50 employees.

James Cunningham Jnr said: “It has been a monumental year for our business as we celebrate not only our newly unveiled premises, but 100 years of exceptional customer service and quality products.

"My brother Christopher and I are proud to continue the legacy of Cunningham's Butchers, diversifying our offering to meet the changing needs of our loyal customers and growing our customer base in the wonderful city of Newry.”

The firm produces more than 1,000 different product lines including gluten-free items and is one of the only Northern Irish butchers to have a Himalayan salt chamber for dry-ageing its beef.

James added: “Innovation is at the heart of our operations, and that was the reason behind our new cocktail bar which expands our offering to customers who can enjoy food and drinks in a beautiful setting.

“To be named UK Butcher Shop and Food Hall of the Year and also take home Best Large Butcher in Ireland, both for a second time, is testament to the great team of people working for us. They're the heartbeat of the business and go above and beyond for our customers.”

First Trust Bank supported the Cunningham's investment. Its business relationship manager Clare Clarke said: “We're proud to work alongside such a forward thinking and dynamic business.

“James and his family's in-depth agri-food knowledge and expertise has enabled them to identify trends in the sector, spot opportunities and expand the business and we are proud to support them on this exciting journey.”

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