Butcher shop coming to Boykins

Published 12:25 pm Saturday, November 12, 2016

Residents of Boykins will soon no longer have to travel out of town to purchase fresh meats and produce. The Boykins Butcher Block, a small butcher shop and grocery store, is scheduled to open this November.

Located on Busy Street in downtown Boykins in a building once occupied by another butcher shop, the Butcher Block will be owned and operated by Chris Jernigan, a 2004 Southampton High School graduate who currently lives in Orlando, North Carolina but never forgot his Southampton County roots.

“I still call Southampton County my home,” Jernigan said. “I grew up in Sedley.”

When asked why he chose Boykins for the site of his new business, Jernigan cited its once-thriving downtown community and the current need for residents to travel outside of town, sometimes as far as Franklin or Murfeesboro, North Carolina, to buy groceries.

“My wife and I have been talking about [opening a butcher shop] for a while and I just felt like, in Boykins, it had a successful market there at one time,” said Jernigan, who learned his trade as a butcher from working for Food Lion. “Now you have a 30-mile round trip to Franklin or a 24-mile round trip to Murfeesboro just to get a fresh product.”

According to Jernigan, an inspector visited the shop on Wednesday, Oct. 19 and cleared the business for opening. Jernigan says he has met all Federal and state health and safety codes and is nearly ready to hold a grand opening.

“My saw was delivered [Oct. 20],” Jernigan said.

Boykins residents need not worry about the presence of a nearby slaughterhouse though, as Jernigan plans to purchase all of his animals pre-slaughtered.

“So far, what I’ve heard in the community [is] they’re very excited, and I’m very excited,” Jernigan said, adding that he hopes to also draw business from other communities such as Franklin.

“If the people support it, I think it will work,” said Boykins Mayor Spier Edwards.

Jernigan has scheduled a grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m. The Boykins Main Street Initiative, Boykins’ downtown revitalization organization, is handling the details of the event and is trying to arrange for Edwards to cut the ribbon.