The appetite for turkey dinners this Christmas is as great as ever as more private customers make their way to Pearson’s yard in St. Johnston for their festive turkey.
During this time of year over 2,000 turkeys are being prepared for our seasonal dinner. The family business has changed greatly over the years as Matthew focuses on breaking into alternative markets. He admits that despite his creative and successful new business endeavours that December 23 is the busiest day of the year.
“We are being kept busy enough. We have two thousand turkeys at this time and they all go within a three day period. We have a few extra private customers this year. We also have a few good deals this year which has brought more customers back to us,” Matthew said.
Pearson’s have been in business for many years. In 1997, they became a limited company. The family run business in the east of the county are very close to the community. Over the years they have kept a book on all their customers orders. Each year their diary tells a story about the community as children left to go and get married orders became small and subsequently grew bigger as couples and their children returned to have Christmas with their families.
“We keep a book on our customers every year. This year is the same as last year. We do two types of turkey, on one side the customer collects it in the yard and the other is more wholesale where we sell turkeys to butchers and such,” he said.
On December 23, customers will leave their homes where the tinsel hangs over the fireplace and where the Christmas tree lights adds a soft twinkle to their eye and make their way to Pearson’s yard. There they will find Matthew, his brother Don and his father George at hand to help them purchase the turkey that best suits their family. “It is our busiest day of the year without a doubt. We get up at 5am and work through the day we will serve hundreds of customers that day. We enjoy keeping it going locally,” he said.
All of the turkeys that are sold are female and are normally around 12 pounds and 24 pounds. “These are the main sizes. My father started the turkey business ten to fifteen years before 1997. That year, I turned it into a limited business. I have made a few difference since I came in,” Matthew said.
This year, the family have furthered their business by bringing in Ulster ham for their customers to enjoy with their turkey. “You would not believe how hard it is to find ham in Ulster but we have and we are running a few deals with it this year,” he said.
For the Pearson family, the business Christmas period leave them exhausted for Christmas day. While other families gather around a table and enjoy their huge dinner the Pearson family are enjoying the peace and quiet after the annual Christmas rush.