Where’s the beef? The Happy Butchers in Milford will move into large shop

MILFORD – More than a year ago Sterling Trumphour helped turn a small storefront into a shiny new butcher shop on Elm Street. Now Trumphour – people call him Tex – is moving his The Happy Butchers Meats and Deli a few yards down the plaza into a much larger space so he can add his own prepared foods.

“Everyone’s in a rush nowadays for dinner,” is how he explains it, and high quality meat loaf, sausages and other foods made on site will fill a need.

Business has been good, he said, and the time seems right for this major expansion.

“Milford has been so supportive,” he said. “We didn’t anticipate such growth, so fast.” Supporting the local community at sports concessions and other events has helped promote the business, “so people are thanking us” by becoming customers.

Trumphour said people tell him, “I had your cheeseburger” at a particular event, and say “we noticed your support.” Events like the Milford Pumpkin Festival and the Chamber of Commerce’s Best Of Souhegan awards contest, also helped spread the word. The Happy Butchers won the Best Of contest’s best butcher shop award for 2014 and their steak tips also won for Best Entree.

The new space is 4,800 square feet, more than four times the size of the current shop, and it’s located where old-timers remember Blake’s Restaurant had been for many years.

And he needs the extra space.

“Our customer base hasn’t stopped growing,” Trumphour said as he inspected newly-delivered display cases. “Every day people bring in friends or family members.”

Last year during the holidays the shop sold more than 400 rib roasts, and now the same customers are re-ordering, he said.

And last summer, there were sometimes lines out the door as people bought meats for their barbecues.

Still, he doesn’t want the shop to get too big.

“We’re still an old-
fashioned meat market where we know everyone’s name … now we’ll have cooked products – meat loaf, smoke brisket, rotisserie chicken.”

Sue Carmen, the chef at Hampshire Hills’ restaurant stopped in, and Trumphour said he is “tapping into the resources of local chefs,” carrying their salads and other dishes.

But meat remains the center of the operation, and there will be more beef at the new shop, including a new counter displaying only U.S. Department of Agriculture certified prime beef and a bigger frozen meat selection. In the back of the shop are new walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers to accommodate a bigger volume of merchandise so they can offer better prices, Trumphour said.

The new shop should be open in about a month, he said, and “we will want feedback from customers about what they want.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 304, or kcleveland@
cabinet.com.