The winners of this year's BSOY Awards.
John Pettit, Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
Owner - John Pettit. Manager - Paul McCann
This shop, which dates as a butcher's from 1892, retains its traditional feel. There is no mistaking that this is a proper butcher's shop with a huge range of fresh meats displayed and hanging in the window, and in the shop itself. Huge joints of meat and rows of sausages are skilfully blended with a select range of added value products. There is plenty of preparation space to the rear while large red awnings that hang out from the dark blue painted frontage ensure that the shop is seen from a long way off.
Boxley's, Wombourne, Staffordshire
Owners - Keith and Pauline Boxley. Manager - D. Bradley
Cabinets that run almost the entire length of the shop greet the customer. Added value products abound and are attractively laid out in a shop that is predominantly coloured in stylish and atmospheric brown and cream. Prize winning pies are good sellers and a strategically placed freezer stocked with 40 lines provides useful additional turnover.
Allan Bennett, Codsall, Staffordshire
Owner - Allan Bennett. Manager - Steven Bennett
This relatively small shop has recently undergone a refit with new wall cladding in metal and new display cabinets, both of which set the tone for the shop. Gleaming silver trophies and a large mirror against the back wall add to this sparkling, shiny interior. In the main traditional cuts of meat and meat products dominate. A special sandwich and meal preparation area immediately behind one of the new cabinets is a particular feature that comes into its own for lunchtime trade.
Midlands and East of England
South of England
Bonners the Butchers, Ilminster, Somerset
Owner - Clinton Bonner. Manager - M. Harris
This is really two-shops-in-one, and one of the Crown Jewels of this small, south Somerset town. Somewhat Tardis-like it is much bigger on the inside that it looks from the attractive but small outside. The window display alone is enough to tempt most people in. Once inside there is the choice of viewing the lovely range of fresh meats on the right or stepping down into the 'shop within the shop' to savour the wide array of delicatessen products and cheeses. It is a hard task to decide which side of the shop provides the best choice and the most skilful layout. Run by the Bonners for many years the friendly welcome leaves customers in little doubt that this is indeed a well run family business.
Greens of Pangbourne, Berkshire.
Owners - R.G. Hine and P.G. Cripps. Manager - P.A. Cripps.
Although the shop entrance and window is on the small side and somewhat hidden by a covered parade the shop itself stretches back some distance. Apart from a wonderful array of fresh meats and added value products on sale the outstanding feature of this business are the chef prepared products that are manufactured, many of them in full view of the customers.
Kittows, Fowey, Cornwall
Owner - Daniel Kittow. Manager - Richard Kittow
Even though this is a small shop by most standards this excellent business has been skilfully laid out to incorporate a range of beautifully displayed fresh meats and delicatessen items. Within a stone's throw of the quay that provides the focal point for the town as well as glorious estuary and sea views this business is at the heart of what makes this a successful tourist destination. The shop even has postcards showing ..... the shop; a nice touch and a fond memory of visiting the area for many a tourist.
McCartney's, Moira, County Down
Owner - George McCartney and Partners. Manager - Gordon McCartney
George McCartney is known among colleagues as 'the James Bond of Northern Ireland butchers.' And no wonder, for this attractive shop is packed with gadgets and machinery to make its running more efficient. It probably has the most sophisticated computerised video trade monitoring and shop surveillance system in the UK, with software specially written for the business. The shop itself is well thought out with a wonderful array of meats and other foods on sale. The large rear preparation areas, and the upstairs bakery, are spotlessly hygienic. A large bell outside the entrance is a useful asset for disabled customers who can just ring for service.
Stewarts Family Butchers, Enniskillen, Country Fermanagh
Owners - Gabriel and Sheila Stewart. Manager - Shane Stewart.
It is not many butchers' shops that can boast a Miss World Finalist serving behind the counter, but Stewarts Family Butchers in Enniskillen can! For Gabriel and Sheila Stewart's model daughter, Kirsty, was Miss Northern Ireland and found herself in Beijing, China with the other most beautiful girls in the world. Kirsty's endeavours have done no harm at all to the shop's publicity and marketing, of course. The shop, which has an open and spacious feel about it, also boasts - at 42 ft - one of the longest meat counters stocked with a wide range of fresh meats.
Gregory's Meat, Ballykelly, County Londonderry
Owner - Gregory McGlinchey. Manager - Richard Moore
Gregory McGlinchey has run this business for seven years and in that time has won a host of awards for his small shop in Ballykelly. Many of the shops near to Gregory's Meats are food businesses including Northern Ireland's Best Fish and Chip Shop. In addition to a fine range of meats Gregory sells a wide range of 'ready prepared foods and ingredients including chopped and packed onion, mashed potatoes, curries, rice, dips, and even washed, dried and packed uncooked chips.
WINNER and OVERALL WINNER
Simon Howie, Perth, Perthshire
Owner - Simon Howie. Manager - Gary Conacher
An impressively colourful and informative shop front that also promotes four of the shop's best selling offerings is followed up inside by a dazzling counter display and organisation that is simply among the best in the UK. Dedicated behind-the-counter servers are backed up by butchers who cut the meat and separate cashiers. Ready meals and many other shop items are prepared at the company's factory where butchers now do some of the jobs that used to be done by chefs. One word describes the back of shop and storage facilities - 'sparkling.'
Thomas Johnston, Falkirk
Owners - Richard and Graeme Johnston. Manager - Rod Gillie
This shop has a large frontage and plenty of space inside for a wide range of fresh meats. There are plenty of traditional cuts on show alongside some nicely prepared added value products, pies, cooked meats and ready meals. The chillers have their own cutting blocks so that butchers can literally quickly prepare some cuts in situ.
The Store, Edinburgh
Owners - Susan and Andrew Booth. Manager - Andrew Booth
This is a distinctly different type of retail business and perhaps a model that others may want to follow. Although entered in the Scotland category it could equally be at home in the Butcher's Plus and Farm Shop categories. Styled as a 'farm shop in the city' the 'farm' is actually some 120 miles away in Aberdeen. Its open plan, relaxed, friendly atmosphere, and clean, clear, bright design features stand out. Susan and Andrew Booth say their customers, who tend to be young, would be put off by traditional butcher's apron approach.
This is a new Award category this year. Based on written submissions MTJ selected shops that are doing much more than traditional butchery or selling fresh meat as part of their overall retail package. The top four have been selected for a special mention.
Robertson's, Broughty Ferry, Dundee
Owner: David Craig. Manager: Violet Lee
This shop just shouts 'quality' and 'attention to detail' wherever one goes, front or rear, a reflection perhaps of the fact that David Craig has been a top butcher for many years. This is such a well thought out business and provides customers with an entertaining shopping experience. For acknowledged 'foodies' there are a host of special meat products to try. Afterwards, or before, they can relax in the purpose built café, either inside the shop itself or in the courtyard garden.
Aubrey Allen Delicatessen, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
Owner: Russell Allen. Manager: Iain Dunstan
Definitely aimed at the very top of the market there is not a single ounce of meat out of place in the meticulously cut and displayed items on sale. Purely in terms of display and layout this shop has everything. It combines old-fashioned standards of quality with a modern approach to presentation, reflected as much in the marketing of the business as in the meat itself.
Eynon's of St Clears, St Clears, Carmarthenshire
Owner and manager: Huw Eynon
An Aladdin's Cave of different foods greets the customer to this shop, although the fresh meats, pies, cheeses and ready meals probably form the bulk of most shoppers' baskets. There is a thriving mail order and corporate gift business. One of the best shops in the UK for food-gift shopping.
Cranston's Cumbrian Food Hall, Penrith, Cumbria
Owner: Philip Cranston. Manager: Martin Jones
The title of the shop says it all. As with all the other businesses though, the emphasis is on meat. This is, however, a 'one stop shop' in every sense of the word, but one where customers either doing their weekly shop or gift searching for something a little bit different will not be disappointed - and it has all the convenience of an edge of town (Penrith) location that makes car parking easy.
Blagdon Farm Shop, Milkhope Centre. Blagdon near Newcastle upon Tyne
Manager - Joanne Celerier
This is an ideal setting for a farm shop in a complex of redundant farm buildings that were converted into craft workshops some years ago. Latterly many have been turned into shops that attract both locals and tourists. The shop opened in 2001 and was upgraded in May 2004. Highly professional, informative and colourful signage adorn the shop's barn end to take away the severity of the building while inside the vast openness of the barn itself has been usefully used for the retail areas and preparation rooms. Locally sourced Belted Galloway, Red Poll and Aberdeen Angus, and Tamworth pork, made up the bulk of the fresh display on a wrap around counter when the shop was judged. There is a separate deli counter selling cooked meats and 50 cheeses.
Farmer Copley's, Ravensknowle Farm, Purston, Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Joint owner and managers - Robert and Heather Copley
This four-year-old farm shop business is expanding rapidly with plans for a new branch eight miles away in Wakefield. There are also plans to incorporate farm tours into the business. Pontefract used to grow all the liquorish for the UK market so Robert and Heather are using this unique heritage fact to manufacture and market liquorish flavoured pork pies, sausages and cheeses in their shop.
Greystone House, Stainton near Penrith, Cumbria
Owners - John and Marjorie Dawson. Manager - John Dawson
The Dawsons diversified their business into farm shop retailing nearly four years ago after the foot and mouth crisis. Today a former tack room for horses, grain store and tool shed has been transformed into a shop selling a wide range of produce and a tearoom. Various initiatives have caught the imagination of the local press include a 'tractor drive-thru' for busy farmers who want a refreshing cup of tea.
J.T. Vernon, The Cross, Holt near Wrexham,
Owner - Andrew Vernon. Manager - Steve James
This company started from a tiny building opposite the present premises, has grown through various business initiatives over the years and continues to do so. A barbecue hire business introduced last year has more than doubled in take-up this year and a thriving link with a nearby industrial estate supplying food for hungry workers is set for major expansion with the establishment of preparation premises and a small shop there. These, in turn, will free-up space for an additional sales area in the shop.
Edwards of Conwy
Owner - Ieuan Edwards. Manager - Dave Malloy
A fantastic range of fresh and cooked meats, pies and lunchtime take away products greets the customer to this excellent shop. Everything about this business has a solid feel about it, not surprising considering that the premises are a former bank and the vaults now very secure chillers.
Rob Rattray Butchers, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Owner - Rob Rattray. Manager - Paul Rowbotham
This was the smallest shop in this year's Awards and yet is big on quality. Despite having a sales area not much bigger than the average size living room the preparation and display of meats is beautifully organised. A recent refit with new colour scheme has been stylishly done and Rob supplies some of the meat he sells from his own farm.
NORTH OF ENGLAND
Steadmans, Sedbergh, Cumbria
Owner - Garth Steadman. Manager - Ryan Moffat
Based in Cumbria yet part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and with a Lancashire postcode to boot this shop could be forgiven for having an identity crisis. Yet Garth Steadman has built a business that is very much identified as part of the local community and Garth himself has been at the heart of reviving this pretty town's fortunes after its tourism was decimated by the foot and mouth crisis in 2001. President of the local Chamber of Trade, instrumental in establishing a town twinning association (with a town in Slovenia) and at the heart of the area's Guild of Q Butchers there is not much going on that Garth is not involved in. The shop, of course, reflects his extra retail activities.
Blackwells, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland.
Owner - Martin Blackwell. Manager - Jean McNaughton
Football-mad Martin Blackwell even managed to borrow the Carling Cup for a day earlier this year after his beloved Middlesborough FC. won it for display in his shop! His reputation for an interest in football is well known and so is his reputation for producing excellent meats and pies - as a host of prestigious Awards proves.
Geo Middlemiss and Son, Otley, West Yorkshire
Owner- Anthony Middlemiss. Manager - Peter Middlemiss
Probably the most traditional shop in this year's Final it has a shop window packed with huge cuts of meats while inside it has a spacious, light and clean feel to it. The meats and pies have won many Awards while the back of store area is spotlessly clean and well organised.
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