Spotlight On: Dugard and Daughters
In the next instalment in my series of blogs highlighting great local businesses, I asked Rosie Dugard some questions about their “Butcher and Larder”. Dugard and Daughters opened back in 2013, and has been a brilliant addition to Milkwood Road’s railway arches. It’s a bit of a treasure trove for obscure ingredients as well, I often find the most random of things hiding away in there!
Can you tell me a bit about yourself, the business, and what made you set up here?
I lived in Brixton when I was a kid, moving to Dulwich Road from when I was 15yrs old until I was in my 30’s — and still live locally with my husband Neil and our two daughters. We’ve always wanted to run our own business and to work in the area where we live and when both Neil and I were made redundant from our jobs within six weeks of each other it felt like this was our chance to really try it. Knowing the area so well, we really felt that it would work and that we could open something that complemented the area and other local businesses too.
What IS Dugard and Daughters?
We’ve described the shop as a Butcher & Larder (rather than as a deli which can sometimes be confusing for people) — we specialise in free range rare breed meat that sits alongside a huge range of ambient and chilled artisan products. We care about where our products come from and how they are made which is why we deal with nearly 200 suppliers, many of them single producers.
You opened back in 2013, around the time of the flood resulting from a burst water main, did that affect you at all?
We signed our lease in August 2013, the day before the flood happened, and opened the doors that November. We were lucky in that the flood just missed us — it came right up to the door but stopped short of coming in the arch. The flood had a huge impact on all the local businesses, it was devastating for those directly affected and made an already challenging time for small local businesses even more worrisome, that was no different for us having just put everything we had on the line in order to open the doors.
Do you have a bestselling or a favourite product?
On the butchery side our dry aged beef is a huge favourite — our 4 week aged ribeye is probably the biggest seller and on the larder side of the shop our selection of over 40 cheeses is always a winner.
How has Herne Hill changed in the years you’ve been here?
Herne Hill has transformed in the last 25 years, it used to have buses trundling through Station Square and no Sunday market. I called Network Rail up about 15 years ago about the arches we are now in, and they said they needed to get them up to standard before renting them. 10 years later they still hadn’t done it so they sat empty. Herne Hill now is a busy bustling area that has a great selection of local independently run businesses, the station no longer has the buses and traffic which makes it nicer and safer, and overall it’s become an area that people travel to in order to shop and hang out.
What other local businesses would you recommend in Herne Hill?
There are so many, Herne Hill has everything from coffee shops to pubs to dentists to vets! Seasons of England, the greengrocers a few arches down from us is great, Myla & Davis and Aitch are both great and will get you looking fab…the list goes on! We love going to Lombok or The Prince Regent for dinner and then Off the Cuff or First Aid Box for a tipple afterwards — perfect night out and no cab needed back from central London :)
Thank you to Rosie for answering my questions. My husband and I are trying to eat less meat these days but when we do cook it, we tend to go to Dugard and Daughters as we know we’ll be getting something really tasty. The turkey we had from them at New Year (for our “fake Christmas” with friends) survived being roasted rather too quickly in an Aga that none of us knew how to use, and it was still amazingly juicy and tasty! More please.