The Hippo


May 28, 2020








Tex Trumphour displays his fresh, smoked brisket. Photo by Allie Ginwala.

The Happy Butchers

Where: 222 Elm St., Milford
Call: 554-1339

Movin’ on over
To combat long lines, Happy Butchers expands

By Allie Ginwala

At 10 o’clock on a Wednesday morning, Sterling “Tex” Trumphour had filled his meat market with smoke. 

“We’re trying to learn how to smoke briskets today,” said Trumphour, owner of The Happy Butchers in Milford. “I’m sure it’ll take a few trials.” 
Chuckling, Trumphour’s eyes watered from the smoke as he stood in the center of The Happy Butchers, newly reopened just five doors away from its original location. Only a year after opening, Trumphour knew he was going to have to find a bigger space. 
“We had more people waiting outside to get into the small location, and I just knew if I [wanted] to expand and take it where I wanted it to go, I needed a bigger space.” 
The landlord for the property, a customer who was rather tired of waiting in a long line to see his butcher, suggested Trumphour look at the building at the end of the property. 
Trumphour played with the idea of putting a second location in Nashua while keeping the small one in Milford but realized how happy he was with just the one business. 
“I live in Hollis, I go to church here in Milford … a lot of my customers I know by name,” he said. “I want to be a local, supportive business within the community.”
Once the new location was finalized, renovations began, taking four months to complete. 
“We were working over here [and] we kept the store running over there,” Trumphour said. During construction, The Happy Butchers was closed for only four days, just before the grand re-opening Jan. 19.
While the distance between the old and new locations isn’t very big, the upgrades are. 
“Now we have an additional cutting room out back for processing sides of beef and quarters of beef for people who want to fill their freezers up at home,” he said. “In the other site we were cutting all the meat out of this one little small production area, and that made it pretty compact. … [This way] it doesn’t take away from the retail part of the store up front.”
Trumphour said that the tight space at their first location, just a 4-foot span between counters, is about one third the size of the new space. Now when you walk in, you’re greeted by an expanse of open floor with counters, display cases and kitchen equipment lining the walls. 
Other new features include a blast freezer, which can freeze 500-pound sides of beef in two hours, and a walk-in freezer where customers can select and then watch their meat processed. “We process it here in front of them; cut it, wrap it, grind it, bag it, box it, freeze it and then send it home,” he said.
As he walked through the new space, pointing out the improved facilities, Trumphour stopped in the kitchen section where the briskets that filled the room with smoke 20 minutes earlier were laid out. 
“We never had a kitchen next door,” he said. “We’re doing our own store-baked roast beef and turkey breast.”
As for the future, “We’ve got big plans to go outside for the summer months, to have the smokers out front and the grills and also ... retail homemade sausages, grass-fed beef, all-natural chicken.”
For now, though, Trumphour is appreciating what he has.
“It’s been like watching a flower just blossom ... over the last year and a half,” he said. “It’s been a heck of a ride.” 
As seen in the February 26, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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