On a back road - presumably once a cobbled lane - just off Islington's bustling Upper Street you'll find a converted garage that is full of an awful lot of drying sausages.
Three traditionally-trained butchers, Matt Atkinson, Matt Hill and Adam Brudnowski met while working together at Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa Butchers shop, and in 2013 they decided to start their own venture. They found the premises in Islington and, with Matt's wife Lucy Hill managing operations, began making London's first local charcuterie.
They set out to create fermented and air-dried products using only British meat, drawing on the experience and skills they had each developed in the butchery trade. They began with a small range of salamis inspired by Italian production methods, which Adam had learnt from spending time with salumiere throughout Sardinia and Sicily. Today, they borrow techniques and processes from various butchery traditions around Europe, which have all been tweaked and combined to suit the meat they buy, the equipment they own, what chefs like to use and what they like to eat themselves.
They produce all of their charcuterie using high-welfare British meat, including free-range British pork from Mangalitza pigs bred in Yorkshire, British Wagyu beef for their bresaola and other beef products, as well as lamb and goat for certain specialities. They also try to support their suppliers by taking, as far as possible, the cuts that aren't bought by other customers - that means leaf fat, jowls and sows (not eyeballs and tails).
They say that of all charcuterie products, salami is one of the most difficult owing to the sheer number of variables. They attribute the consistency and flavour of their salamis to the very high welfare and husbandry standards of the farmers supplying their meat, to the fact that they grind and blend their own spices for every batch - and to their own skills and experience, honed over the last 8 years.