Each week we hit the city centre after 5pm to spend 5 minutes with a city centre retailer. This week we spoke to Carl, co-owner of Simmonite, Sheffield’s premier butcher and fishmonger.
If you’ve ever taken a stroll up Division Street (and let’s face it, who hasn’t?) you’re likely to have spotted Simmonite. With its enticing window display of freshly baked goods, and counter after counter of fresh meat and fish, it’s Sheffield’s go-to place for top quality produce.
Moving with the times
The business was established by Carl’s grandfather in 1946 – fast-forward 71 years and it’s stronger than ever.
“We used to be based at Castle Market,” explains Carl. “When the time came for us to leave, we took a stroll around Sheffield to find new premises – and Division Street just seemed to make sense.”
They’ve now been there for four years, and staying open in the early evening has been a great success for the business.
“Between 5pm and 7pm is usually our busiest time. People don’t want to have to drive out to a supermarket to pick up the ingredients they need for the evening. Instead, they drop in and know they can get all the fresh meat and fish they need.”
Catch of the day, every day
Daily deliveries of fresh meat and fish make sure customers get the best of what’s available. Their fish is caught from four boats in Hartlepool, while the meat is from a trusted source in Huddersfield.
“I’m often checking my emails at midnight to find out what the boats have caught,” admits Carl.
There’s also no shortage of baked goods to choose from. Samosas, quiches… you name it. And best of all, they’re all made to Simmonite’s own recipes.
Meeting customers’ needs
Simmonite has seen a real shift in what customers want since relocating from Castle Market. Whole fish are less in demand, with customers instead preferring fillets they can easily prepare and cook at home.
They also have what Carl refers to as ‘Student Wall’ – various cuts of meat that can be mix and matched at very little cost.
“Just pop them in the freezer and you’ve got meals for as long as you pay your electricity bill!” Carl quips.
You’ll also find Simmonite is open on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, so you don’t need to worry about picking up quality produce over the festive period!
Our top picks
We’d be lying if we said that our trip to Simmonite didn’t leave us feeling hungry. From fresh seafood and meat, to beers, cheese and baked goods, there’s so much choice. Here’s what took our fancy.
When you walk into their Division Street store, you’re greeted by the tastiest looking seafood counter. Along with fresh whole fish and fillets, these perfectly pink prawns caught our eye. Curry, anyone?
Where do we start on the meat counter? There’s fresh juicy chicken breasts, belly pork and spare ribs. Get your marinades ready and fire up the BBQ - it’s meat feast time!
One of the best things about Simmonite is that you can pick up fresh ingredients you can’t find anywhere else in the city centre after 5pm. Fancy some fresh shellfish for dinner? These oysters are a right treat!
Tell us how you’re Alive After 5?
The Simmonite team recommend grabbing some great Italian food from La Gondola on Carver Street, with its classic dishes and great atmosphere.
Simmonite is #AliveAfter5 from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.