Meat Based Products Supplied to the Wholesale, Catering and Food Services Sector
James T Blakeman & Co Ltd is the home of the famous Supreme Sausage. Now one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of sausage and meat products, the Blakeman family business has been supplying the domestic, export, catering and fast food markets for over 64 years.
After the second world war, during which he had served in the RAF, James Blakeman spent a short time as manufacturing supervisor with a pork butcher in Leek, Staffordshire.
In 1953, having picked up what he needed to know about the business Jim decided to set up on his own. He started small, taking a mobile refreshment bar in partnership with his brother-in-law and, at the same time, worked as a freelance sausage-meat manufacturer.
After his marriage to Ann in 1955 the couple bought a farm at Caverswall near Stoke-on-Trent, turning cow sheds and stables at the back into a small manufacturing unit for sausage, cooked meats and poultry. It was a modest enterprise, supplying four retail outlets with 100 lbs of sausage per week on small, hand-operated machines.
Soon Jim and Ann (who would be a mainstay of the business until her retirement in 1995), moved up into larger quantity production with an ‘Alexander Werk’ filler and a ‘Seydlemann’ bowl chopper allowing weekly sausage production at the farm to top the three tonne mark.
The Blakeman’s son Philip, the current Managing Director would complete an apprenticeship that included learning every process in the small factory, and later gained an HGV1 licence to drive the company’s refrigerated delivery trucks. Eighty-hour weeks were the norm rather than the exception as he followed the same work ethic as his parents.