February 23, 2024 by Rikki Thompson
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We all remember the days of the traditional butchers shop, the racks of carcasses hanging and the smell from the shavings on the floor.  Step into the rich history of John R Dowey & Son a beloved family butchery – now more affectionally known as “Dowey’s” that has been serving the community in Lurgan since 1936. Can you believe it? That’s nearly a century of providing top-notch quality meats to the locals! And what’s even more impressive is that now, three generations of the Dowey family have carried on the skilled trade of butchery, ensuring that the tradition lives on.

It all started with the visionary John R. Dowey senior, who established the original butcher shop back in 1936. With a passion for serving his community, he created core values that still resonate with us today – the idea of sourcing local produce for local people. And let me tell you, those values have stood the test of time.

The start of the journey

Back in the early days, John Dowey Snr was quite the multitasker, managing two small shops. But as times were changing, he decided to bring these two shops together and built a brand new shop on High Street in 1956. It was a bold move, especially considering there were only a handful of shops on that street back then – not quite the bustling thoroughfare it is today.

John R. Dowey Junior, following in his father’s footsteps, joined him in the family business. Combining his love for farming with the skills he learned at his father’s shoulder, John Jr. brought a unique perspective to Dowey’s. Together, they navigated the changing times with grace and determination.

By 1980, the new shop at Dowey’s was starting to feel a bit cramped as the business continued to grow. It wasn’t until 1989 that an opportunity arose to acquire another property that would be more suitable. After nearly a year of demolition, reconstruction, renovation, and fitting out, the purpose-built shop was ready to open its doors in September 1990. This new location not only expanded the Butchery business but also added a Delicatessen. Fast forward to today, and the shop still proudly stands in the same spot, having grown steadily over the years.

Come 2007, Simon Dowey, armed with a degree in Information Technology, joined the family business, carrying on the family’s proud tradition. John Dowey Jnr, Simon’s father, was thrilled to see the next generation stepping up and encouraged Simon to further expand the business. Building on his father’s success in winning competitions, Dowey’s became the Runners-up in the Retail Butcher’s shop of the year. But the determination didn’t stop there. The following year, they won the competition, solidifying their place as a top-notch butcher shop. They’ve also received accolades in the Master Butcher Sausage and Burger Competitions.

New additions

In 2008, Dowey’s acquired the adjacent premises and, after extensive renovations, opened a new Coffee Shop on the ground floor in May 2009. With three shops under one roof, all owner-driven and owner-managed, Dowey’s embarked on another new chapter. Their emphasis on quality and value for money sets them apart from chain stores. The meticulous attention to detail in the renovation and expansion reflected their long standing commitment to creating a fantastic experience for both loyal and new customers.

Modern technology blends with traditional values

With Simon’s background in Information Technology, the popular Lurgan butchers have collided the traditional butcher shop with modern communication and are now rewarding customers simply for shopping with them via their new loyalty app. Customers can earn stamps for every £10 spent in-store. Once a customer collects 20 stamps, they can redeem them against a £5 discount in-store. (terms and conditions apply)

The beauty of a loyalty scheme is that it’s all conveniently stored on your phone. No more carrying around physical cards or worrying about losing them. It’s all right there at your fingertips.

Not only that, but a loyalty app also keeps you in the loop with exclusive offers, promotions, and updates from John R Dowey & Son Butchers. You’ll be the first to know about special deals giving you the chance to save even more and stay connected.

So, if you’re a fan of John R. Dowey and Son and want to make the most of your visits, their loyalty app is definitely worth checking out. Download the app here also you can join the mailing list here for all the latest offers and updates.

Standing the test of time

While staying true to their core values of uncompromising quality and support for local farmers, Dowey’s has expanded its range of products to include ready-prepared meals and pre-packed items. Their emphasis on quality and value for money sets them apart and their meticulous attention to detail reflects their commitment to creating a fantastic experience for both loyal and new customers alike.

One of the things that make Dowey’s so special is the treasure trove of original family recipes that have been developed over the years. These recipes have been passed down through generations, and now, as John R. Dowey’s grandson, Simon Dowey, proudly continues the family legacy, he ensures that these time-honored recipes are still in use today. Talk about keeping tradition alive!

So, whether you’re a long-time customer or someone new to the area, step into Dowey’s and experience the legacy firsthand. Taste the flavours that have delighted generations, and feel the warmth of a family business that has stood the test of time.

Follow Dowey’s Butchers on Facebook,  or join the loyalty scheme here

To feature your business on UrbanABC contact Helen Donnelly, Lurgan Town Centre Manager on urbanabc@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk


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