Cotswolds through & through…

Jesse Smith & WJ Castle Butchers & Delicatessen is a family owned company, based in the town of Cirencester.

Our Head Office and state-of-the-art wholesale preparation facility is here and we have a string of Butcher’s Shops situated around the Cotswold’s, along with a  Production Kitchen & Catering Unit.

From humble beginnings with just a handful of devoted customers, we now collaborate with many of the best local chefs and restaurateurs.

Our reputation has been built on our uncompromising commitment to provenance, fair trade & quality.

Jesse Smith Original Shop
Jesse Smith Storefront
Jesse Smith Original Dry Aging

” Excellent animal husbandry & welfare paired with our team’s wealth of experience results in a truly exceptional product “

Richard Hawes Managing Director

Jesse Smith Portrait

1808 – Our beginnings

Our history

Jesse Smith and W J Castle Butchers is run and owned by The Hawes family, based here
in the Cotswolds.

Sidney Hawes was a farmer who decided to diversify by buying Watermoor Meat Supplies in the 1960s. He ran this shop with his son Richard and they had
a small van round delivering meat orders to homes in the local area.

In the 1970’s Richard and Sidney expanded by purchasing two more existing butcher
shops in Burford and Northleach, called W J Castle.

One day while at a cattle market Sidney and Richard heard that their competitor Mr Smith was thinking of selling his company – Jesse Smith Butchers.

In the late 70’s The Hawes family successfully took over the running of this butchers shop on Black Jack Street in Cirencester. Steeped in history this business was originally established in 1808 and is still in the same location today.

Then in the 1980’s The Hawes family opened another new branch of Jesse Smith on Tetbury High Street.

In 1985 Richard married Nesta and in 1992 Richard and Nesta welcomed twin boys David and John. David and John are now the third generation to run Jesse Smith and W J Castle.

As the business grew, it was decided to relocate Watermoor Road. So in 2016 a new larger farm shop was opened on Cirencester’s Love Lane. Here we have a wholesale kitchen, supplying hundreds of deli and cooked items each week to
local pubs, café’s and restaurants.

The family are very pleased to have been supported by loyal customers and each shop
is still trading. We now employ 47 staff and excitingly a new Jesse Smith Food Hall in the village of Elkston is opening summer 2022



Flavour – from an outstanding rib of beef to our favourite hung sirloin on the bone, we’ve scoured the very best to bring you products which are bursting with flavour.

Discovery – sample a new cuisine with our tasting evenings and samples at our shops; taste our tender and succulent old spot pork to our exceptionally tender new-season lamb, with a beautifully sweet and subtle flavour. – There’s a world of flavour to explore at Jesse Smith. 

Provenance – we source with care from producers who share our passion for flavour and quality enabling you to enjoy the best of British produce. 

Excitement – bring theatre to your table with a Himalayan salt plate; try your hand at sausage making– let your creativity run wild at Jesse Smith!

Authority – we’ve tasted the ingredients and cooked with our condiments. We have the best job in the world! So if you need help & advice just give us a ring – we’re always happy to help.

Service – we work hard to bring you the best possible service and consistently enjoy exceptionally high customer satisfaction. 

Jesse Smith Cows

Jesse Smith Logo



Our Shop on Black Jack Street in Cirencester is now a grade II listed building, but well before this listing we made the decision to hang on to the lovely Edwardian shopfront and interior, one with tiles that beautifully celebrate the pig and what a butcher can do with it.

It was around 1910 and the golden age for English tiled shopfronts, when the architectural ceramicists were still being influenced by the swirls and curls of the Art Nouveau style, and before World War I banished jollity. 
Legends in curvaceous Art Nouveau lettering designed to make the pig fancier’s mouth water: Pickled tongues. The design on the right of this image, with its sinuous lines and mysterious semicircles (Do they evoke stylized flowers or seed heads?) would not look out of place in Vienna.
Inside, porcine eyes follow you round the room as you contemplate cuts of pork and home-made pies. There are few better architectural celebrations of the English pig. 

Jesse Smith Storefront
Jesse Smith Original Dry Aging
Jesse Smith Christmas Queue