Our History

Calnan Brothers is a family run business which was established in September 1971. Our philosophy is simple, we love two things: Our family and the meat trade, and both are encapsulated in the unique enterprise we have headed now for over 40 years in Oxfordshire.
Today we have over 130 years combined experience as expert butchers sourcing and preparing the finest meats that can be found in Britain and abroad. This level of expertise focused in a small family business is unrivalled. The group has always been family owned and run, and despite many avenues open to us for growth over the years we have remained focused on three simple areas: sourcing the highest quality meats in Britain and abroad; a relentless pursuit of excellence in customer service; and creating an intimate community of happy customers.
Calnan Brothers have a history forged in land, food and livestock. From an esteemed farming background, we worked hard from an early age to gain hands on experience in all aspects of farming and animal husbandry. Graduating from our farming days, Finbarr and Bernard were trained locally as butchers by the finest in Oxford, with the addition of Finbarr training further at the world renowned Smithfield College in London. The eldest of us, Sean, continued to work on the family farm where he became expert in livestock development and animal health.
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In 1971 we came together formally to open our first shop near Abingdon, Oxfordshire. We quickly found a strong local following from customers who valued quality, excellence, reliability and the direct contact with experts that only a family business can provide. Customer demand led us to open shops in both Didcot and Watlington which are now the heart of the business today. Over the years we have become valued for our excellence in beef, lamb, pork and poultry, and furthermore in our handmade products such as our gold award winning sausages, steak burgers, BBQ meats and luxury cheeses. Over the last 40 years we have built up a unique customer base ranging from local residents, to some of Oxfordshire’s finest restaurants, all seeking the highest quality products that they can buy. Nothing comes in or out of our shops that has not met the toughest standards of excellence that we set ourselves.
Tom is the second generation of Calnans involved in the business and blends a deep respect for history with a fresh vision of Calnan Brothers for the future. Always involved from a young age, he has learnt at the hands of the Brothers and is now taking a lead role in driving the organisation forward. The new refit at the Watlington shop is the start of this vision and Tom has lots of exciting ideas for the years to come. Always open for new ideas and listening to customer feedback, give Tom your input when you are next in the shop. We hope you enjoy our website, and welcome to our community.