Bexleys named best butchers in UK
Published:  19 November, 2008

Bexleys of Liverpool was celebrating yesterday after taking the title of best butcher in the UK.

The shop beat off strong competition from award winning shops from across the UK during the awards, which are organised by the Meat Trades Journal.

Bexleys took the title of North of England before going onto steal a march on its other regional rivals in a highly-fought competition to take the top title.

"We are delighted to win the top prize," said Martin Brearton, director of the shop which was opened three years ago. "Last year we won the North Of England title and on the strength of that we were asked this year to supply fresh meat to the MTV awards at the Liverpool Echo arena."

He and his brother Paul, along with fellow director Ian McCormick, were at the glittering ceremony at the Sheraton Park Lane in London to collect the award.

The trio now expect the title to boost turnover further. "We are the best out of all the butchers who entered the competition and we are going to make the most of our title in marketing ourselves," said Paul.

The MTJ judges said the shop had an imaginative display of meats and made good use use of marketing to promote its mail order business which makes up 10% of the shop's sales.

Other winners on the day included P&B Pyne in North Petherton, which took the crown in the South of England, Fields of Anlaby, named best in the Midlands & East of England, Davidsons of Inverurie, which took the Scottish title, Stewarts Butchers of Enniskillen which was named best in Northern Ireland and Cig Calon Cymru, which topped the table in Wales.

P&B Pyne also took the title for Innovation of the Year for its sausage making masterclasses, which proved a big hit with customers.

Alan Elliot, owner of Dalbeatties Fine Foods in Scotland walked away with the MTJ Young Butcher of the Year title. He told MTJ: "It is unbelievable winning this prestigious award."

The 24-year-old, who had opened his own shop at the age of 19 said he did not begrudge the sacrifices he had made such as his social life because "winning a title means a lot to me."

Cheerbrook Quality Farm Food in Nantwich, which took the title for best Farm Shop of the Year, and Noel Chadwick, of Standish near Wigan, took the title of best Butcher's Plus.

Peter Allen, of Midlands-based Aubrey Allen, won MTJ's BSTOY Lifetime award. His award was collected by his son Russell who had a message from his father which read: "I cannot say how surprised and how delighted I am to win such a prestigious award. I consider myself very lucky to work in a trade with such fantastic people. I have had great mentors including my father. Sadly we lost him this year but it seems he is always at my shoulder."

The awards were sponsored by EBLEX, Lucas Ingredients and Food to Go, Bizerba, Weddel Swift and Harmony Farm, the Scotch Butchers Club, the Meat Training Council, Danish Bacon & Meat Council, BPEX and Tican Chilled.

Ed Bedington, editor of MTJ, said: "These awards are a great way to recognise and reward some of the great business in the butchery sector.

"These are the businesses which are at the very top end of their game and are a great example to all in the sector. I'd like to congratulate all our winners and finalists on their success."

For all the pictures of the event, visit http://www.theimagefile.com/?skin=3440&Action=_VC&id=20814202&ppwd=bsya08




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