Meet Giovanni Mascia – one of Cranstons most charismatic team members

19th August 2022

Caroline – marketing assistant at Cranstons recently had a chat with with Orton Grange customer favourite Giovanni Mascia. Gio has been with Cranstons for over 15 years. He is known for his lively and entertaining customer service and is extremely passionate about food. Gio lives and works according to his philosophy that butchering is art and butchers should strive to be the very best they can and have a big respect for the animals.

(Caroline) Bongiorno! Thank you for taking the time to meet me this morning. I have heard so many great things about you – I wanted to find out what is all the fuss about(laughing)

(Gio) (laughing) Bongiorno come esta Karolina? Should we do this in Italian?

(Caroline) Well ..  We could but you would be talking to yourself  because I wouldn’t understand a thing (laughing)

(Gio) Right, yes (laughing)

(Caroline)How long have you been working for the company?

(Gio)It must be about 15 years now. I worked at Cranstons Carlisle Food Hall initially for about 9 years. I then left Cranstons to work for a local competitor but after 2 years of working in a much smaller shop largely on my own I realised how much I missed the Cranstons environment and I came back to the job here at Orton Grange.

(Caroline)Why did you decide to come back ?

(Gio) I mean .. it’s very simple – I really like this place!

I am a very social person and I need to be a part of a team – like here at Orton Grange– these people are like my family.

I am Italian so I know a thing or two about amazing food (laughing). Our shops are full of products made by us with real care and pride. What else would you want? (Apart from a little bit more sunshine obviously).

(Caroline)True! Carpe diem .. or should I say carne diem?! It’s so great to hear this. I was watching you just before we started our interview while you were serving some customers. You seem so happy and comfortable around people.

(Gio) Well. I just love them! I love to be around people – it’s important for me to have a great relationship with a customer. We are very passionate about great meat and good food prepared with skill and served our way, Cranstons way!

We make an excellent job of preparing the meat we provide here, doing the justice to the hard work farmers put in on the farm. I like to guide customers – tell them about all the hard work that goes into producing such an excellent product. I think we need to communicate this to our customer – so they understand the importance of what we do and how we do it.

(Caroline) What is your role within the butchery team ?

(Gio) Along with the day to day meat preparation and customer service I spend a lot of time training our apprentice butchers. I help new apprentices perfect their knife skills so that they are able to cut, prepare, package and present meat products to the standards Cranstons require. I make sure our apprentices possess the knowledge, skills and behaviours laid out in the apprenticeship standard.

I was really proud when my team mate Spencer won the title Young Butcher of the Year at this year’s Q Guild Awards as I have really enjoyed coaching him and working alongside him throughout his training. He’s almost as passionate about food as I am (laughs).

(Caroline) This is a huge responsibility. Training new generations of butchers is very important. Right! Time for my favourite part – the quick fire round ..

(Caroline) What was your first job? (Gio) Builder.

(Caroline) Fav movie? (Gio) James Bond (laughing)

(Caroline) The weirdest thing you have ever eaten? (Giovanni) – Grilled donkey hearts – Delicious!

(Caroline) Sweet or savoury? (Gio) SPICY!

(Caroline) Favourite breed of cattle? (Gio) I’m not racist (laughing)

(Caroline) What’s your favourite cut of meat? (Gio) Rib of beef!

(Caroline) Grilled or fried? (Gio) Fried on a real fire! My absolute favourite meal is rib eye steak, served with Cranstons salt and pepper chips and fresh salad with Italian dressing!

(Caroline) How would you describe a great butcher? (Gio) They must be respectful to the animal and have a real passion for food.

(Caroline) When you training an apprentice – what would you tell them first? (Gio) I would probably say that each cut of meat was once part of a life so it has to be treated with respect.

(Caroline) What advice would you like to give to the next generations of butchers? (Gio) That’s a tough one! Follow your passion, don’t be afraid of hard work and probably try to spend less time on your phone! (laughing)