Welcome to James Chapman Butchers, a true ‘people business’ with a proud history of local service.
In 1892, James Chapman married Mary Hamilton. The Hamiltons had been butchers since 1851, with shops in Carluke, Hamilton and Wishaw.
When Mary’s uncle passed on, James and Mary bought the business from her aunt and ran the shop at West Cross, Wishaw, under the Chapman name.
When the business outgrew that shop, they moved across the road to premises that included a flat above.
In 1899, they opened at 35 Glasgow Road, where the company offices are today.
James lived until 1919 and Mary took over. She was a truly remarkable business lady.In partnership with her son (another James, of course) Mary improved the business throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1935 and 1936, a meat factory and a small bake house were built in Marshall Street, Wishaw.
Mary Chapman remained active in the business until her own passing in 1944.She would be delighted to know that her great granddaughter Deirdre is still serving out her recipes for potted meat and ham & steak roll.
During World War II, all the young men trained up in the growing business were of an age to be called up for military service,leaving the business with only one man.It was the ladies who kept the business going during the war.
About 6 months before the end of rationing, beef became available to the trade. Production could go up, making the factory unit profitable again and filling the shop shelves. The business was now turning out 4 tons of our famous sausages per week!
The Saturday 6,000
1935 saw the start of a booming pie business that served the local industrial workers. After the Saturday morning shift, the men would rush home for a pie, then away to the football.The company records show that 500 dozen pies were sold on a Saturday – half the week’s production!
Pre-1939, about half of all meat was imported. Argentina was the main beef supplier. When the British Government supply contract ended in 1946, Argentina refused to renew and there were shortages. War rationing continued until 1954.
In the days before supermarkets and general car ownership,travelling shops were a new innovation.5 Chapman’s vans served the large housing estates. We offered prepacked goods – a food hygiene idea ahead of its time.
Many employees stay with us from apprenticeship through retirement.
We appreciate the contribution made by every Chapmans ‘family’ member. David McCrum and Jimmy Ross retired in 1976, Andrew Stewart in 1981, Jim Weir in 1984 and Harold Wilson in 1992. Other than war service, these men spent their entire working lives applying their outstanding skills and craftsmanship in cutting and presentation.
A Caring Company
We are proud of our employees and the good work they do.
Chapman’s started an employee superannuation scheme in the early ‘50s and a profit sharing scheme in 1967 – unheard of in the meat trade at the time. Both schemes continue today.
James Chapman now comprises 5 shops, 2 bake houses, our own abattoir and the meat plant for boning, sausage making and cooked meats.
Alongside our outstanding roasts, chops, steaks and special cuts, we prepare a wonderful range of traditional sausages, black pudding, haggis, dumpling – and, of course, Mary Chapman’s original recipe potted meat and steak & ham roll.
Our two bakeries produce sweet and savoury products, from scones and bread to our Award Winning Steak Pies, all in our shops fresh daily.
James Chapman Butchers
Local products. Local jobs. Honest quality.