The Cranstons story

“The business has changed a little since the days of
my great uncle and his horse and cart but Cranstons
key values remain unchanged.”

Philip Cranston – Chairman

Our story…
Quality you can trust – since 1914

Life was very different one hundred or so years ago when Stanley Cranston set up the first Cranstons butchers. He delivered meat directly to homes in the northern Eden Valley using his horse and cart. From the start Stanley was committed to providing the very best local produce.

A family business

Over the years his reputation grew and more local folk wanted Stanley’s renowned meat and produce. Nephew James Cranston joined the business, learning Stanley’s skills and knowledge of meat and produce as his apprentice.

The travelling butchers shop

In the 1950’s James along with his wife Elizabeth, affectionately known as ‘Bunty’ took over the business running two travelling butchers vans. Sons Roger and Philip grew up helping on the vans, their job was to run ahead and knock on doors getting people out on the street and ready to be served.

A growing reputation

In 1977 the very first Cranstons shop opened in the village of Kirkoswald. Jimmy focused on the butchery and Bunty cooked the hams and made the meat loaf, potted meat and black pudding. The range was very traditional and there were only 2 types of sausage – Cumberland thick or thin. We now have over twenty different recipes of sausage, 7 available year round and the rest on a seasonal basis!

A period of expansion

Sons Roger and Philip joined them in the 1980’s and they opened new shops in Penrith (1983), Carlisle (1985), Brampton (1999) and Hexham (1999). Its only fitting that we cut a line of cumberland sausage to declare our new shops open rather than a ribbon.

An evolving business

We are proud to have 2 traditional high street butchers shops in the heart of Penrith and Hexham, but since the millenium our larger Food Halls which combine our own butchery and delicatessen goods with a wider range of local produce have proved a real hit with both Cumbrians and visitors to the area. Our first food hall opened in Penrith in 2003 with further Food Halls opening at Orton Grange farm in 2013 and Brampton in 2015.

New look Cumbrian Food Hall

In 2023 we completely refurbished our flagship Cumbrian Food Hall in Penrith bringing it up to date with a stylish new look and even more of the butchery and deli produce our customers know and love. We are proud that the Food Hall now features produce from over 100 Cumbrian farmers and producers.

Still committed to our values

Today Cranstons is a significant food enterprise with six locations and a team of over 200 people, led by the family and expert management team. Brother’s Roger and Philip Cranston continue to own the business and are active directors supported by Mel Wilson, Business Resources Director, David Law, Production Director and Jane Silburn, Business Development Director. The directors are supported by Peter Potts, Retail Area Manager.

Always at the heart of our business, we continue to invest in our people, recognising talent in the team to nurture our leadership for the future. Many of our people have been part of Cranstons for a long while. Our family business includes many local families as Mums and Daughters, Husbands and Sons have become part of our team over the years.


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