A FAMILY-RUN butcher’s business is opening a multi-million pound food hall beside the A19 at Crathorne near Yarm.

Kitson & Sons already has shops in High Street, Northallerton; Stephenson Way, Stockton; and North End, Hutton Rudby.

It plans to open its Five Houses Farm Shop and Kitchen in a converted quadrant farm building at Five Houses Farm early next month.

The development represents by far the biggest investment ever made by the business, whose roots stretch back to 1693.

As well as a state-of-the-art butchery, the multi-purpose development is expected to create up to 30 new jobs and will incorporate an on-site cafe/restaurant.

News of the new venture follows Kitson & Sons being crowned champion sausage makers at the recent fourth Camp Hill Sausage and Beer Festival near Bedale.

The business won with its Five Houses Yorkshire Delight Sausage, a new sausage created to mark the impending launch of its new food hall.

The recipe was specially developed by Paul Craddock, from Trimdon, who has joined the team of butchers after working in the industry all his life.

Anthony Kitson, business owner, said: “While the actual recipe is a closely guarded secret, we can reveal that the title-winning sausage contains only the best Yorkshire pork, home-made pancetta and other ingredients grown by Paul in his own garden.

“It’s very, very meaty. We’re over the moon that members of the sausage-loving public attending the festival voted for it. It won on taste – simple as that.”

The winning sausage will first be sold at the new Crathorne food hall, before going on sale at the three other shops.

Kitson & Sons has appealed for artisan producers across the region to get in touch, as the business is keen to display and sell their products at the new farm shop. Call 01609 776588 or email kitsonandsons@hotmail.com.

Jo Ropner, Camp Hill Festival co-organiser said: “It was a wonderful family day out. We are so well supported by the local community, with more than 15 butchers and 22 local beers participating.

The festival has become a great showcase both for us, here at the Camp Hill Estate, and for local businesses.”