Our TeamA small team with big smiles
You’ll usually find the Cottenham’s team with smiles on our faces. We simply love what we do, and we’re always happy to share that passion with our customers. With many years of knowledge and skill between us, we take great pride in offering exceptional levels of friendly, professional service.
We joke that if you cut John in half, he would have the word ‘butcher’ running through him. He adds that it would also say ‘deer stalker’. John has been a butcher since he was 16, and before that he always wanted to be one: his grandfather was an arable and livestock farmer and his mother ran a butcher’s delivery round, so you could say it’s in his blood.
John learned his craft from old master butchers at a time when you learned it thoroughly – knowing how to break down a whole carcass carefully, understanding how to make the most of everything, out of respect for the animal as well as his customers’ pockets. Over the years John has combined that traditional knowledge and skill with an awareness of more contemporary techniques, such as seam butchery, and a return to popularity for some ‘forgotten’ cuts. And of course, a great knowledge and passion for the stalking, butchery and cooking of wild game, especially venison.
John shares his knowledge generously, both with his team and his customers, so you’ll invariably find him in the shop offering help and advice. Do come and ask him any questions (except about gardening!)
John’s wife and business partner Sally graduated with a BSc in Animal Nutrition and Physiology, specialising in animal welfare systems, before achieving her Masters in Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge. She went on to a clinical training scholarship at the Royal Veterinary College, specialising in large animals, and now practises in Sussex as an equine vet. Sally knows many of the farmers in our area well, and her knowledge and skills greatly enhance the way we work together with our producers. In the shop, Sally is also in charge of all of our admin and accounts…yes, the proverbial ‘well-oiled machine’ comes to mind!
Ollie is supercharged from eating daddy's "pink melt in the mouth beef". He sometimes helps with deliveries and enjoys practising his knife skills.
Nikki is a highly skilled and creative butcher with over 20 years experience. She loves being ‘front of house’ and takes great pride in knowing the absolute provenance of everything she sells. She likes nothing better than helping customers with everything from specialist preparation to recipes and cooking times…and there isn’t a challenge that has stumped Nikki yet!
Josh is an excellent butcher and our champion sausage maker - all made in our shop using the best quality meat, natural skins and fresh herbs and vegetables. We always have a range of flavours, with gluten free options too. For Josh, there’s nothing more rewarding than skillfully butchering excellent quality meat into joints and cuts that our customers will enjoy. He has something of a chef’s eye for presentation too, and our window display usually includes a touch of Josh’s flair. And did we mention the best sausages in Sussex…?
You’ll usually find Emma in our shop kitchen, busy making each day’s pork pies, sausage rolls and quiches. Being a former teacher and gifted musician, she’s good at keeping us in check and enjoys directing her artistic talents into the creation of her famous casseroles or lasagne for customers to enjoy at home. If ever we’re not sure where Emma is, we just follow the enticing cooking aromas!
Coming from a farming family, Millie knows exactly what it takes to create good meat. On the farm Millie has shepherded her own flock of sheep since 2005, inspired from a young age by her godmother, and helps her father with managing the family’s award winning beef herd. In the shop that experience translates into a passion for quality and a deep understanding of the importance of connecting producers and customers. Do come and chat to her about the fantastic beef from her farm.