Honeywell’s: Lancashire’s family butchers’ who went from selling pork out a garage to a meat empire

One of Lancashire’s best-loved family butchers’, Honeywell’s started life two generations ago, with the founders Fran and Doris Gornall selling home-reared pork from their garage. It’s a far-cry from the company's modern setup, which features a purpose-built farm shop and foodhall as well as two additional branches in local garden centres.
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But, fundamentally, little has changed since 1971. Honeywell’s is still all about quality butchery and locally-sourced meats offering premier meats from their own farm and neighbouring producers, pies and pastries, and a selection of local and continental cheeses. When it opened in 2003, their Eaves Lane farm shop was one of Lancashire’s first.

“It was my granddad Fran and nana Doris that started the business in 1970 and my dad Anthony and my uncle John helped bring the business up,” says Liz Hughes, Business Development Manager, who’s part of the third generation to run Honeywell’s. “We’ve still got 10 members of the family working across various parts of the company to this day.

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“I’m very proud to be part of the business - we’re quite well-known for our sausage rolls so, wherever you go, when people realise you’re from Honeywells, they mention the sausage rolls, so knowing that people know us always gives me a real sense of pride,” adds Liz. “Working in the business, you just have that extra bit of drive and you put that extra effort in.

Lisa Jones at Honeywell'sLisa Jones at Honeywell's
Lisa Jones at Honeywell's

“We all want it to be a success because we know how much it means and we’re all one big team. I’ve always been passionate about food - growing up in this family, food was always a big deal and I spent a lot of time with my grandparents learning how to cook, so I knew from an early age where meat comes from! From that, I developed a passion for field-to-fork.”

Still embodying a traditional approach to farming and butchery, Honeywell’s celebrates local food and local farmers, sourcing their meat from within a 20-mile radius where possible. With more and more people electing to shop local, they believe that the old-school link between the food on your table and Lancashire’s best farmers has never been stronger.

“I don’t think there was ever any doubt that I’d end up working here because it was always something I wanted to do,” says Liz, with nine other members of the family still working for the business to this day. “Customers are part of the family; we’ve had grandparents, mums and dads, and their kids visiting us, so we’re invested in their lives, which is lovely.

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“It’s nice to be so embedded in the community,” adds Liz, with Honeywell’s rearing their own herd of cattle for beef at Durton Lane and working alongside local farmers such as Paul Keyes in Salwick, their neighbour Alan Thornton, and The Kellett Family in Pilling. “People are invested in shopping local and we’re lucky to have a loyal customer base.

Honeywell's family members Olivia Gornall, Alex Turner, Liz Laycock and John GornallHoneywell's family members Olivia Gornall, Alex Turner, Liz Laycock and John Gornall
Honeywell's family members Olivia Gornall, Alex Turner, Liz Laycock and John Gornall

“These days, retail is more challenging and you’ve got to give people a reason to come,” continues Liz. “But we found that, when lockdown hit, people started cooking more and looking on their doorstep for local produce, so a lot of them found us and stuck with us, too.”

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