Login Register

Old Hill family's secret 125-year faggot recipe is for sale

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: June 05, 2014

By John Butterworth

End of an era - Nigel Brazier outside his shop

End of an era - Nigel Brazier outside his shop

Comments (0)

NIGEL Brazier has come up with the perfect recipe to sell his food shop in Old Hill - the price also includes his family's 125-year secret for making the Black Country classic, faggots and peas.

For £120,000 the buyer will get The Cook Shop at 193 Halesowen Road, all the fixtures and fittings, plus how to make his great grandmother's local delicacy.

And he will also throw in with the deal another three family secret recipes - for stuffing, grorty dick and bread pudding.

Nigel, who will be 65 on July 15, has decided to sell the four-generation freehold business so he and his wife Anne can spend more time with their grandchildren.

It is certainly successful, selling more than 350 faggots a week with customers coming from as far away as Hereford, Yorkshire and Scotland.

His great grandmother, Eve Billingham, began the business in 1889 using the front room of their home in Old Hill High Street (now Highgate Street) as a shop selling Black Country food she cooked herself.

Her daughter Mary and husband Joe Priest continued the business before handing it on to their daughter Iris and husband Bill Brazier with their son Nigel taking over nearly 50 years ago in 1965.

"It will be a wrench to leave such good staff and friendly customers after all these years," said Nigel. "But my grandmother carried on working until she was 75, my father 82 and my mother 78 and I made a decision many years ago that I would retire at 65."

His four sons have all moved away from the Black Country and have jobs in Exeter, Sheffield, Lancaster and the Lake District.

Now Nigel is hoping to sell the business to someone who will continue to build on his success.

He said: "There are plenty of bakers selling pies and pastries and butchers selling faggots, but I think we are the only cook shop left selling Black Country food made on the premises." Nigel added that it was very emotional telling his staff that he was retiring and talking to his customers after they saw the For Sale sign go up last week.

The Old Hill-born owner is now planning to spend more time with his two grandsons and granddaughter, walking with his wife and volunteering with the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust which he has supported for many years.

But what is the secret to his great grandmother's recipes which have stayed in the family since 1889?

The successful buyer will find that out, he said, only once he or she has bought The Cook Shop.

But Nigel did give some clues. "We use mainly pig's fry, onions and Cook Shop seasoning," he said.

"But what is more important is the way the ingredients are put together. We have kept that a closely guarded family secret for 125 years - and it will stay that way for the next few months."

Are you a customer at The Cook Shop and what do you think of their Black Country faggots and peas and pies and puddings? Are they the best?

Email editor@blackcountrybugle.co.uk, log on to www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk or write to us at 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL.

Feature - See page 13 Ballad - See page 10

Read more from Black Country Bugle

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters

YOUR COMMENTS AWAITING MODERATION

 
 

MORE NEWS HEADLINES