FX Buckley Butchers Talbot Street
The Buckley Family has built a reputation as purveyors of quality meats for over six generations. We sat down with Darragh Buckley and asked him all about the history right up to today in his butcher shop.
Take us back to where it all started!
Francis Xavier opened his first butcher shop in 1930 and this soon became a well-known Dublin institution. Since then it was part of a natural progression to open our own steakhouses around the city and serve our famous beef from our butchers to your table. The Buckley name has been renowned in the meat industry since the early 1900’s. The store was even mentioned by James Joyce in the Ulysses twice.
Francis Xavier Buckley originally from Drumcondra, set up his own first butcher shop in 1930 on Moore street and opened Talbot Street in the early seventies. After his honeymoon to France he coined the phrase ‘Par Excellence’, reflecting his inspiration for the cuisine culture he experienced there. To this day, the phrase ‘Meat Par Excellence’ remains the company’s branding.
Francis always insisted on quality meat, having meat properly hung, properly cut and properly presented. As a result, FX Buckley butchers soon became a well-recognised Dublin institution for quality meat.
Our customers have always expected the best from Buckley’s and we let each and every customer know that they are appreciated and always feel they are getting value for their money.
We have won some prestigious awards over the years such as winning the Lovin ‘ Dublin Best Quality Butchers in Dublin and also we are famous for our Gold Medal winning Pork Sausages and Black & White Pudding in the National Championships. We now have 3 locations, Talbot Street, Nutgrove Shopping Centre and Deansgrange.
What do you like about working on Talbot Street?
Talbot Street is a busy street with lots of character. Its one of the main corridors leading into the city centre. With the new Luas line coming in it’s going to bring in some new clientele into the area. There’s a lot of high end profile shops opening up such as the new Sports Direct. Recently Ann’s Bakery and Starbuck’s moved into North Earl Street. Ann’s bakery is a favorite of mine for lunch. There’s also some great restaurants like Le Bon Crubeen and 101 Talbot both of which use our dry aged beef. A real hidden gem around the area is Briody’s on Marlborough st which is a great place for a pint.
A lot of construction is happening around Talbot Street which is a great sign that street is going through a real rejuvenation period. Clery’s, Irish Life and of course, the new Luas line are some examples of this. Its also very central, just off O’Connell St. All these improvements in the area will make Talbot Street a more attractive place to shop. We are working with DublinTown to re-brand it and a suggested name is “The Heart of Dublin” which I think reflects the character of the area.
Tell us about the process of dry ageing beef.
We dry age our beef which means it is stored at about 3 degrees for a minimum of 28 days. Every piece is separated and given space to breathe. We also constantly check each piece to monitor how each is maturing. This is where experience is important. After 84 years, we feel we have perfected the art of maturing beef.
Here is some of the science behind dry-aging:
1. As the beef ages, the natural enzymes and good bacteria break down the muscle fibres in the beef and make it tenderer.
2. When dry-aging, the beef can also lose up to 20 percent of its weight because of water evaporation. As a result, the meat develops a stronger taste. Similar to diluting a drink, the more water added, the weaker the taste becomes.
What type of products do you sell in your shop on Talbot Street?
We have a changing selection of seasonal meats such as Spring Lamb which is always popular with our customers. We also offer a range of game such as Venison, Fowl, Pheasant, Rabbit and Duck which is supplied by Wild Irish Game. We have recently offered our Seasonal Vegetable and Mediterranean Vegetable sides such as Sweet potato which are all freshly prepared in store and cooked within minutes. We also have a great BBQ selection for all those summer days. Just this year we won gold at the Craft Butchers national BBQ Competition 2016/17 for our new Ribeye Burger, Pork Sundried Tomato & Mixed Pepper Burger and our Spicy BBQ Pork Ribs.
We insure good relationships with our suppliers as this trust is key to keep the standard of quality high in all our stores. All the meat comes from our farms and local farms so tractability and locality of the meat is guaranteed. We have our own specialty breed of cattle called Aberdeen-Angus. Unlike in the majority of the industry today, these cattle are naturally small in size. This insures a richer and beefier taste as hormones have not been added to increase growth. The beef is then separately dry aged for a minimum of 21 days to allow it to tenderize properly.
From suppliers to staff, FX Buxley’s are renowned for top quality butchers.
Butchery is a craft and massively skilled job and in order to create the very best butchers that will carry our signature of excellence into the industry, we provide four-year apprentices for enthusiastic individuals to learn the art and craft of butchery.
If you would like further information, click here.
You recently launched ‘Fitness Foods’. What can customers expect from this range?
Trends have changed and we have always promoted a balanced diet so we recently launched Fitness Foods, our high protein / low fat range which are ideal for those following a healthy lifestyle. We are constantly adding new items to our Fitness Foods range such as our new Turkey & Black Pudding Burger, Chicken Fillet Spice Box, Chicken & Avocado Burger and our very popular Turkey & Sweet Potato Burgers. We have also been involved in the “Back to School Healthy Eating Campaign” in local primary schools, encouraging parent and children alike to eat healthier.
Tell us about the FX Buckley Privilege Club.
We launched our Privilege Club in 2013 and it had become very popular with our customers. They simply scan their card along with their purchase and they will receive points with every euro they spend. The more points they accumulate the bigger rewards you will receive. They also receive a special birthday gift each year along with a weekly text informing them of our Main Meal Special for that week. Its popularity has grown in the few short years since we started it and as of right now we have 14,912 happy Privilege Club members.
For more stories and updates follow @DublinTown on Twitter!