Balson Family Butcher Business

Serving Customers
For 25 Generations

The Balson family butcher business is an incredible success story! A great family business legacy - now serving the US market from Ashville NC.

RJ Balson & Son is proud to be named as “England’s Oldest Family Business” and “Europe’s Oldest Family Butchers”. We at “Balsons” are also proud to expanded our family business to the United States, a much more recent milestone and addition to our family legacy.


In 1535, John Balson began trading meat at the local market in Brisport, Dorset, England. For some perspective, at that time Henry VIII was king and still married to Anne Boleyn, the first complete English language translation of the Bible was printed in Antwerp by William Tynedale, and Peru, the Galapagos Islands, and Quebec were discovered.

Almost 500 years and 25 generations later, RJ Balson butcher shop can be found in the same location it has been since 1880

Over time, Balsons butchers shop has become famous for its handmade specialty sausages. Our unique sausages has won numerous awards at county and national competitions. Whether it is exotic meat blends made out of elk and ostrich or the commitment to all-natural ingredients, the shop’s longevity can be attributed to the individual attention given to each customer.

Recently, the Balson’s commitments to excellence and to the continuous practice of the butchery craft has officially been recognized by the Institute for Family Business as the oldest continuously trading family business in Britain.

In addition, the year of 2007 marked another milestone for the Balson family – the expansion of its family business to America, where the Balsons are now continuing the family legacy of making English and Irish specialty meats in America.


When recently asked to comment on the secret to a successful family business, Oliver Balson, President of RJ Balson USA, Inc responded by saying, “I think the answer to this is no secret at all – it is the same answer to the question of “what makes a successful family?”, which begs the question about what counts as “success” altogether.

If you don’t have a target for what “success” looks like, how can you know if you’ve hit the mark? And if your idea on what counts as “success” is off, you may very well be hitting the wrong mark altogether.

The tendancy to compartmentalize “business” from “personal”, “community”, “family”, etc. leads to an unhealthy fragmentation. For us, all of this goes together, and this holistic approach leads us to treat our customers as we would our family, and vice versa.

In a nutshell, we strive to treat others as we would want to be treated, and while it is tempting to over-analyze and complicate what “business” is – the short answer is that we strive to do business, any business, with respect, integrity, fairness, and consideration for others. While this may sound idealistic and lofty, this is what "success” means to us, no matter the ins and outs of any particular business.


With the Balson butcher family having expanded across the Atlantic, one perk of the expansion to the U.S. means that the family stays very well connected. Both the U.S. and U.K. sides of the family work very closely with each other to assure the highest quality products are offered in each of their respective markets. By the looks of things, there is little slowing down in the Balson family, all of whom as excited to see what the next generations contribute to the legacy.

For more information  R J Balson and Son - Bridport Butcher

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