Worth the Wight: Royale builds Isle of Wight’s first dry-ageing room

The world turns and Royale has helped make another bespoke project a reality. Today’s article takes us to the Isle of Wight, where Royale’s Gary Millard has managed quite a special request through to completion. Let’s see what the team’s been up to!

The first of its kind.

Interestingly, the approximately 140,000 residents of the Isle of Wight – and the businesses that serve them - have made do until now without any specialist dry-ageing facilities! Traditionally, the island’s supply of aged meat has come directly from the UK; animals are raised on the island to be sent to UK mainland for slaughter and subsequently returned to Isle of Wight stores and, ultimately, customer’s plates.

Cheverton Farm is one such farm on the Isle of Wight and had the rather special request: have a Royale engineer come over to manage the construction of specialist bespoke dry ageing rooms, production cutting room, freezer and future meat curing room – the very first of its kind on the island.

The concept of ‘dry ageing’.

The reason that dry ageing is becoming more and more popular is that it locks flavour and moisture into the meat by sealing it with a dry crust, therefore preventing the moisture from escaping and allowing the flavour to improve within the carcass.

A special consultation.

Making ‘meat to plate’ possible in the Isle of Wight took a little professional know-how; fortunately, something our Gary’s got a little bit of and then some!

It’s not uncommon with tailored work for the scope and style of an installation to be hashed out with a client with the help of a Royale expert, and this was no exception. After coming to the UK to be shown a similar dry-ageing room installed by Royale in a Thatcham butchers’ business, a specification was created and agreed upon and work commenced.

Featuring a large meat hanging rail system moving throughout the renovated farm structure, the setup our team created included specialist control panels to control the dehumidification. Royale have carried out similar installations of dry aged meat rooms for Cobbs Farm Shop in Berkshire. Like our bespoke installation at Warnham Deer Park, this rail system makes it possible for our client to fully manage the ageing process of their meat without the need to ship it back and forth to the UK.

One of a kind.

Also including a second smaller dry age coldroom for smaller cuts, this installation at Cheverton Farm was the first of its kind and has been in the works since Royale was approached by Cheverton in November of 2018. It’s a steady process leading up to the work itself, with Gary going out to meet the clients directly to consult on the work before an agreement was reached.

The new dry-ageing room in the Isle of Wight is part of a streamlined production process. Produce is brought into Cheverton Farm by lorry before being loaded directly into the rail hanging system and finally into the dry-ageing room. Complete with a main room and smaller area for specialist cuts of meat, this new system allows Cheverton Farm to cut out the middleman and become a wholesaler of exceptional meat for the Isle of Wight.

Work well done.

We’re more than a little pleased with the work Gary and the team have done on this one and we’re thrilled to see their efforts contribute to a great business. This kind of specialist work builds a unique capability into Royale, with prospective clients as far away as Dubai having contacted the team to discuss potential work in the area.

No job is quite the same where these dry ageing rooms are concerned, and the proven ability of our engineers to consult with the client and build to challenging specifications is something we’re very proud of indeed.

A fantastic finish.

We’re happy to say that this intriguing task has been completed to the letter! The Isle of Wight now has its very first dry ageing room, helping to cut down unnecessary travel throughout this process.

Cheverton Farm, working with large brands across the Isle of Wight, is now well equipped to offer mouth-watering produce like never before. A great result all round.

If you’d like to talk to us yourself about a project, please feel free to contact us; we’re always happy to help. Either call us on 01635 551446 or send an email at [email protected]. We hope to hear from you!