W.F. Chinn began in a factory in Mill Street, Crediton more than forty years ago. Now we work from a purpose designed factory at West End, Marsh Lane, Crediton. The proprietors, Tony and Rose Palmer, took over the business in 1983 and have continued to develop and expand.
Chinn’s sausages are well known throughout Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset and Avon. We make many varieties to suit all tastes. All the meat used is fresh and from English stock and still uses a secret recipe originally established by Mr Chinn.
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History Of W.F. Chinn Sausages – November 13 2015 – Crediton Country Courier
Rose and Tony Palmer, who have run W F Chinn’s for the past 32 years
W F Chinn, the founder of Chinn’s sausages.
The history of a hugely-successful and highly-regarded Crediton business has been revealed by a descendant of the founder F Chinn, sausage manufacturers, based on the Lords Meadow Industrial Estate, Crediton, this year celebrates its 65th anniversary. The business manufactures traditional pork sausages using meat sourced from local West Country farms. It was founded in 1950 when Mr W F Chinn settled in Crediton. It was only recently that the owners of the business for the past 32 years, Tony and Rose Palmer, discovered details of where and when it was founded. The detail came to light when Mary Warman, the daughter of Mr W F Chinn, wrote a letter to Tony and Rose. In it she writes: “My grand-parents had a pork butchers shop in Plymouth. My father did an apprenticeship in Newton Abbot in the late 1920’s and then joined his parents in the business in Plymouth. “It was at that time they started making sausages ‘Chinn’s Sausages’, with the special recipe, and they proved to be very popular. “My father served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, on his return he decided to give up the retail business and change to whole-sale pork butchers instead. “Eventually, in the mid 1950’s, he settled in Crediton at the factory in Mill Street (beside the Crediton Inn), and supplied pork to butchers in mid and East Devon. George Smith was employed as an apprentice. “My father started making sausages as a side-line and they quickly became popular. “Mr Chinn sadly died in November 1962, after which the business was acquired by George and Pauline Smith who ran it successfully until 1983.Since it was acquired by Tony and Rose on May 1, 1983, the business has increased its production dramatically, still producing top-quality sausages yet still remaining a small, friendly firm which values its staff and customers.
It was 12 years ago that the business moved from premises near the top of Marsh Lane on the Lords Meadow Indus-trial Estate to a new purpose-designed factory at West End, just off Marsh Lane. Tony Palmer previously trained as a butcher and worked for a cash and carry firm in Exeter. Rose’s parents ran the village shop at Sandford and it was George and Pauline Smith, the previous owners of Chinn’s, who used to deliver Chinn’s sausages to Rose’s parents at the shop. When they knew Tony and Rose were getting married, George and Pauline talked to them about taking over the business. Tony and Rose were married in August 1982, taking over the business just months later. The couple have a daughter, Louise, who now helps in the business, as well as her full-time job at Bernville Nurseries. Tony and Rose still use the secret recipe established by Mr Chinn with its special ingredients, the meat sourced from local West Country farms. The recipe remains a secret. Sadly George Smith sadly died only some months ago. Chinn’s sausages are well-known and very popular in the area and the business now makes many varieties to suit all tastes.
This includes Cumberland, Gluten-free, Pork and Stilton, Pork and Leek, Pork and Garlic, Chilli, Pork and Honey, Pork and Mushroom, Chicken and even Pork, Tomato and Stilton. The sausages are sold at retail outlets across the South West and locally can be found at Four Seasons and Landscore Stores in Crediton, the Co-Op in Bow, Lapford Cross Garage, Bernaville Nurseries and Spar Shops across Exeter, to name just a few. Rose explained: “We pride ourselves on our product. “We use fresh English meat for our sausages with minimal packaging, which is what our customers want. “We are a small, family run business, employing 10 members of staff who we value as friends, making sausages for customers across the South West. Currently we produce more than 10,000 lbs of sausages every week, which is an incredible amount compared to the 900 lbs we produced when we started. “We hope customers enjoy our range of sausages and are pleased with how our business expansion plans have progressed since we took over the business 32 years ago. ”She added: “It is amazing to think where the time has gone. “We would particularly like to thank our valued customers and hardworking and loyal staff because without them, we would not be here”. Rose added: “We were so glad when Mary got in touch and told us how the business started. “Mary also told us that she still has other contacts with Crediton. She explained that her grandson is Ben Wonnacott, who was recently elected captain of Crediton Rugby Club, which was a surprise to us as the business is a firm supporter of Crediton RFC.” Over the years Chinn’s have been asked to make many kinds of sausages including catering sausages, chipolatas, cocktail sausages and burgers. They have even made alligator and crocodile sausages as well as wild boar and rabbit with blackberry! W F Chinn regularly supports local events and organisations in the community.