A BUTCHERS which dates back more than 40 years in York and started out as a husband and wife operation is now being run by three generations of the founding family.

M&K Butchers was established by Phillip and Linda Kneafsey in 1970 after Mr Kneafsey learnt his trade in Leeds during the late 60’s before being informed by a relative in 1970 that a butcher’s shop had become available in Bishopthorpe Road.

At only 21 years of age, this was a huge step for Mr Kneafsey who bought the shop and often worked through the night to get the work done.

The business took off and after the first six weeks it was clear he needed more staff to continue its growth and in the March after they were married Mrs Kneafsey left her job and joined her husband to run the shop.

Through the years the business has grown and grown and is now firmly established employing 17 people.

A true family business with three generations of the Kneafsey family all working together, M&K Butchers is entering Family Business of the Year and Retailer of the Year.

Mr and Mrs Kneafsey are still very much involved, while sons Simon and Matthew run the business on a day-to-day basis.

Simon’s children Charlotte and Ben also work on weekends and at Christmas and are looking forward to joining the business full-time when they leave school.

Like all the best butchers, they make a variety of sausages and burgers on the premises, cook their own meats and provide high quality locally sourced meats, pies and produce.

Locally, M&K Butchers is legendary for its massive, but good-humoured Christmas Eve queuing, which they start preparing for as early as August each year.

The business continues to grow with further plans in place to increase the workforce and product range. They have just employed a new butcher, who they are putting through a three year Butchery course at Thomas Danby College and they aim to further his knowledge of the retail meat industry through working in the shop.