Garden Centre and Restaurant

Meet Eaton’s – another of our backstage food suppliers…..

Only the best of butchers for Walker’s!

There really wasn’t a question of what Paul Eaton would do when he left school at the tender age of 16 – he went straight into the family business.  And he now runs it. Paul is one of South Yorkshire’s most popular and best-liked butchers, and he and his firm, who have branches in Tickhill and Harworth, are Walker’s suppliers of meat – everything from sausages to pies and joints.

 We’re hugely proud to have Eaton’s working alongside us, because, like them, we know that all our customers in the Garden Restaurant appreciate good honest locally reared and grown food on their plates. Eaton’s haven’t been going quite as long as Walker’s (we are about ten years ahead of them on that score) but just like us, they are part of a bigger community that believes in those special things – service and quality.

 Paul’s father founded Eaton’s (and his dad is still “as fit as a fiddle” at the wonderful age of 82) and now his own son, Matthew (19), is learning the ropes and running the Harworth branch of the chain. Paul laughs: “I didn’t think that it would be a sensible idea, having the two of us working together in the same space, because everyone wants to do something in their own way. He’s a very good lad, and he’s doing extremely well, but I thought that giving him some of his own independence was the way to go forward”.

 Paul went to college in his teens – on day release from the shop – and learned just about all that books and lecturers could teach him.  “But”, he admits, “butchery is a job were you learn a lot more from being – literally – hands on, and doing it for yourself.”

Eaton’s pies are celebrated, and are nearly always up there with the medallists and trophy winners when the awards are handed out.  Not just at Yorkshire events, but nationally, and Paul has shelves of certificates prizes to prove it. And, says Paul “people also come a good distance to the shop to buy them. It’s not just Tickhill and Harworth customers. We’re very proud of our pies!”  He has every right to be – just about everything at Eaton’s is locally sourced from farmers within a very small radius of Tickhill. Eaton’s don’t go more than a few miles for all their beef, lamb and pork. “People seem to like that”, says Paul, “they really do want to know where things come from, who reared them, and in what conditions. And I can truthfully tell them precisely that”

 Not only that, but he often finds himself discussing how to prepare and cook his meats with his customers, and having a friendly natter with them. “If they are buying a nice joint of pork, they’ll be asking things like ‘How do I get the crackling just right’, or ‘how many will this serve?’, and chatting it through with them and passing on useful tips is always a pleasure.”

 He tells us that the trend at Christmas and New Year seemed to be that “more and more people are wanting turkey breasts and portions, rather than the whole big bird, probably because they’ve cottoned on to the fact that if they buy a traditional whopper of a beast, it’ll be with them, taking up room in the fridge for a week afterwards!”

 And what’s Paul’s own preferred joint for the Sunday table?  “A roast sirloin of beef”, he tells us, “that’s my absolute favourite.  And my wife, Angela, bless her, is a wonderful cook, and does it just right. In fact, I’m getting a bit peckish even thinking about it now!”

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Mosham Road, Blaxton, Doncaster, DN9 3BA

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