Our History

The Brown family have been involved in farming and butchery in and around the Bedford and Cambridge area for over 200 years.

The picture shows the butchers shop that was next to the bridge in St Neots from 1840 – 1913

Jack Brown, eldest of three brothers, grew up at Lye Mead Farm, Millbrook (site of the Millbrook Test Track). In 1936 the family moved to Great Gransden, where our cousins still farm today.

Jack, with his wife Amy and baby Rachel moved to Manor Farm, Stagsden in December 1947, bringing with them a growing Christmas Turkey enterprise. The family grew and so did the farm. Rachel was joined by Richard and Rosemary and by 1959 the farm had increased from 160 to 500 acres and the business became known as J.C.Brown (Stagsden) Ltd.

By 1965 when Richard left school and started working on the farm the Christmas Turkey trade had grown to 17,000+ birds produced annually. The farm sold about 10,000 of these on Smithfield and Birmingham Markets, where they were always in demand for catering and butchers. We also supplied around 6,000 to local butchers and the rest were sold “at the farm gate” to retail customers. Over the years the arable enterprise has grown to about 900 acres.

Increased regulations for butchers and hoteliers, meant that the demand for a “long legged” turkeys (plucked, but not eviscerated) diminished in the late eighties. This and increasing imports of cheap turkey meat, which was snapped up by supermarkets and the larger commercial catering enterprises, has led us to concentrate on the retail market, where quality is the prime requirement.

Richard and Lesley’s son, Peter joined the business in 1995 and later, with his wife Hilary, started a small beef suckler herd and gradually began supplying family & friends with freezer packs of beef. The reaction to the quality of this meat, combined with a need to diversify, helped us to decide to work towards bringing the livestock enterprises together, with the aim of supplying fresh, high quality meat to the public. The realisation of this took longer than hoped, but on Thursday 24th March 2005 “Brown’s of Stagsden” opened its doors for the first time.