Apperley’s is one to watch – with three shops and counting

Apperley’s is one to watch – with three shops and counting

The Apperley family have launched three new butchers’ shops since the start of lockdown – and more are on the way.

A couple of months after the start of the first lockdown, the family launched their first butcher’s shop in Antrim, followed by another in Ballymoney in July 2020.

They then launched a third in Ballykeel, Ballymena in July 2021 – and now they’re eyeing a fourth in Limavady.

It may seem like rapid progression, but the family are well accustomed to launching new stores, having formerly worked to develop the McAtamneys Butchers chain of butchers and delis.

In recent years, John parted ways with McAtamneys and decided to strike out on his own, launching Apperleys as a business in 2020.

“Driving through Ballymoney, I noticed a large retail premises for sale in the town centre. I enquired and checked it out – it was a massive old building full of character, but in need of modernisation and repair works,” he says.

“I thought this would be a good project for me as I love taking broken things and making them new, taking on struggling shops and making them work – that’s what I love doing and that’s what I’ve done all my life.

“I bought the building and opened up a deli and sandwich bar which was an immediate success, under my own name Apperleys.

“The project is currently ongoing with phase 2 of the shop underway. This will be a massive butchers/ deli, bakery, food hall – due to be opened by the autumn.

“I also supply a selection of local shops and supermarkets with our range of pre pack meats and ready meals. Our ready meals are made from scratch in our Ballymoney store. We use only the finest ingredients and have taken the quality to a new level.”

The family are working on completing the butchery food hall at the Ballymoney store at the moment, due to open later this year – and then it’s onto the fourth store.

“We’ve plans to open in Limavady as well. We’ve premises there on the main street, so that will be a butchers and deli as well,” John says.

“That will leave us with four shops and probably about 60 staff.”

John says that going forward , they don’t intend to trade as many as 13 stores again, as they did at McAtamneys.

“I do still enjoy what I do. I do intend to have six good stores in a wider spread than I did before,” he says.

“This year will see completion of our Ballymoney store and also a return to Limavady. As for 2023, who knows? I have some plans to go again but let’s see what happens.”

To read the full feature, see the June/July issue of Neighbourhood Retailer – out later this week.