James Whelan Butchers: The Beef of Beef Bonds

Life can be quite funny in many ways. You can spend a great deal of effort on an idea that you think will change the world and everyone will love only to find few really care. Then again you can do something and suddenly it catches the imagination and you’re inundated with interest. It’s happened to me just this week, so I speak from experience.

Pat Whelan Launches James Whelan Butchers Beef BondsRegular customers of James Whelan Butchers will know that we are always trying to make life easier for our customers. It’s something we think about all the time. It’s why we have our own loyalty scheme, it’s why we text offers regularly to those who sign up, it’s why we sell meat online and it’s why we do so many of the other little things that just help. Obviously by having loyal well cared for customers it ultimately helps us so it’s a win win all around. As a retailer I have to start thinking of Christmas in August. I wish I could leave it until after Halloween, but that’s the business. So in early September I came up with the novel idea of the Beef Bond, the perfect thing for Christmas 2012 and a ‘sure thing’ investment for everyone. Now you won’t get that kind of guarantee on the international financial markets!

The Whelan Beef Bond is a beautifully boxed paper certificate, giving a share in one of our renowned Whelan Angus, Hereford or Wagyu cattle. Each Beef Bond will display the ID number, breed, age and expected maturity of the individual animal it is linked to. For Angus and Hereford the bonds are €100 each and the more exclusive Wagyu Bond starts at €150. You can buy one or multiple share certificates and on maturity 10Kgs (per bond) of various cuts of prime Whelan Beef will be delivered to the Bond holder’s door! The maturing weight of the animal will have been predicted at the time of purchase guaranteeing a minimum 10Kgs yield; however if the animal exceeds its predicted target then the Bond holder is in for an extra windfall of lovely meat. Each Bond holder is guaranteed a hefty haul of tender steak, moist rich roasts along with several succulent and versatile braising beef cuts. The Bonds generally mature within 10 to 12 weeks of purchase, but shorter term bonds are available on request. Forget all the negative talk about the failing financial markets this is a guaranteed winner for all involved and an ideal Christmas gift for yourself or someone else. The real beauty of this gift is that most of the bonds won’t mature until after the New Year. Typically freezers are full for the festive season, but what happens in late January or February when you need a refill and other bills vie for attention? A maturing beef bond will keep the Bond holder in grub for quite some time. Effectively it is the gift that keeps on giving well into 2013.

I also wanted to make sure that as a gift, the Bond was something you’d want to receive. While I’m always grateful for any present, I do find that the traditional ‘gift voucher’ lacks a certain luxury on exchange. There is something quite unexciting about an ‘envelope’ with a little plain card tucked within. Also with vouchers you know that you’ll have to fend off all the sales’ shoppers in order to spend it if it is for a retail shop. For this reason we put thought into how the Beef Bond is presented. It really will be a talking point and a lovely thing to receive at Christmas; a proper boxed gift if you like.Pat Whelan Launches Ireland's First Beef Bonds

Anyway I put all of this together and launched it for my own customers believing that it would be a local story and that would be that. However for some reason this one has caught the imagination and there I was pictured in the Irish Daily Mail last week with a story about the Beef Bond. There I was on page 18, with Kim Kardashian a few pages later! I have to say I feel quite the celebrity and the reaction has been fantastic; great fun altogether. It just goes to show that you can spend months on a project and no one will take any notice, but a little thing like this gift idea and it catches like wildfire. Needless to remark I’m genuinely delighted and particularly as these are risk free bonds with absolutely no risk involved for the buyer. I’m also really pleased with the way they look.

You can see the bond online at www.jameswhelanbutchers.com or drop into the shop and take a closer look. The Bonds are on sale now so make sure you get yours in good time. Sort your Christmas list out in a flash. Drop by today to check it out.

This post was written by me, Pat Whelan, owner of James Whelan Butchers and a passionate advocate of local artisan food. My family have been producing quality Irish Angus beef for generations using a traditional dry aging process. This tradition is one that I continue to practice at our abattoir on our family farm in Garrentemple, Clonmel. These posts aim to impart some of the wisdom to readers and help them get the best out of the meat they eat! Our meat is available online here! I welcome your feedback to Pat@jwb.ie

We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. Pat is a 5th generation butcher, cook book author and the director of  James Whelan Butchers with shops in Clonmel, the Avoca Handweavers Rathcoole and Kilmacanogue, Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt, Rathmines and Swords in Dublin. Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers

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