'Sea Road is not the street we moved into' – Stirks Family butchers closes Fulwell shop after four years

The owner thanked their customers as they focus on their remaining shop and restaurant.

Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 2:59 pm
Updated Monday, 5th August 2019, 12:05 pm
The Sea Road store closed after 4 years of trading
The Sea Road store closed after 4 years of trading

Stirks Family Butchers, on Sea Road in Sunderland, closed its doors for the last time on Saturday, August 3.

The shop, which is located opposite the One Stop Shop, had been trading for four years, before a slump in trading made it difficult to keep the shop open.

The owner, John Stirk, started his butchery business nine years ago, opening his first shop, on Stockton Terrace in Grangetown, on his birthday. He said: “Sea Road is not the street we moved into four years ago. When we lost the two banks from the street, all the businesses lost a lot of foot fall. Recently, the amount of charity shops and takeaways has made Sea Road decline.”

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John Stirks, behind the bar at the Broadway restaurant

The decision to close the store was not taken lightly. In a Facebook post, Mr Stirk explained that they were looking to make changes back in January 2019 and tried to improve the store through a recent refurbishment and moving their food delivery service to the shop.

The fall in sales has meant Mr Stirk had to make the tough decision to close the Sea Road shop and move the rest of the business to his Grangetown shop and The Broadway restaurant.

He said: “I’ve been in business for nine years now and knew we needed to make some changes. We invest in our business and will continue to invest in Sunderland. It would be easy to throw money at it and try to expand, but I’ve decided to expand from within.

“I employ 35 members of staff, across the city, and not one of them are being laid off. The four staff members at Sea Road will move to the Grangetown shop, and I am grateful for all the support from our customers.

Chicken, pasta, and fresh salad is one of many new prepared meals from Stirks

“It’s not bad for a daft lad from Grangetown.”

Mr Stirk explained that he is starting a meal preparation service for the Grangetown shop, selling healthy meals.

He said: “I want to give people good restaurant standard food, but at an affordable price. We will have a ready-to-eat section, and ready-to-heat options too.”