Young Butcher talk with Jim Sutcliffe
Having grown up on our family beef farm in the Lincolnshire Wolds, all I had ever wanted to do was farm. I left school at 16, started work on a neighbouring farm, and completed my modern apprenticeship in mixed agriculture. After finishing that, I fancied a change and butchering caught my eye.
I secured an apprenticeship with Eric Phipps. In his shop everything was done in-house, from slaughtering through to making pies and sausages and curing bacon.That was extremely beneficial to my training, as I experienced every aspect of the trade. On Eric's retirement I moved to another local butcher's, but it was very different to Eric's and, after several months, I decided I wanted to be my own boss.
So I took on the butchery of our beef and lamb for our farm shop, and this formed the foundation of our butcher's shop. Since relocating to the current shop in the nearby market town of Louth in 2008, things have really progressed. With a small team of excellent staff, we try and keep traditional values of quality and service. I am extremely proud to be a Q Guild butcher and, last year, won the title 'BBC Young Butcher of the Year'. Many people in the meat trade criticised the programme, but it was a lot more involved than was given credit for. Among the positives that came out of the programme, it showcased our trade to a younger generation.
I enjoy every day at work and believe I have the best job in the world.
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