UK's oldest family-run business celebrates 500th anniversary
It's not easy for a small business to survive for a long time, but one in the U.K. has achieved a remarkable distinction for longevity.
The butcher shop R.J. Balson & Son in Dorset, England, has recently celebrated its 500th anniversary, making it the country's oldest family-run business.
It also has the distinction of being Europe's oldest family-run butcher shop.
According to the company's website, John Balson began selling meat in Dorset in 1515.
From the time he was granted the original market trading license, which can still be found in the store today, the business has survived numerous upheavals in history including the Reformation, English Civil War, two world wars, fires, recessions, and competition from grocery chains.
The current owner, Richard Balson, has noted that the key to their success has been personal service and their history with generations of families.
Among its products, the shop is perhaps best known for its variety of handmade, all-natural sausages with exotic game such as elk and ostrich.
The shop threw a large party on September 12th, their anniversary, to celebrate.