Jackson's Butchers of Ballynure in Northern Ireland was named as Butcher's Shop of the Year in a glittering ceremony at Claridge's in London yesterday.
Accepting the award, John Jackson said: "I'm elated. To win the Northern Ireland category was good, but to top the UK is amazing. I've worked in this butcher's shop all my life and we're seventh generation butchers. In 1994 I met two brothers from Scotland who won the award and I always said, 'I'm going to do that one day. I want to be the best butcher's shop.' It is a dream."
Jackson's was chosen from six regional finalists from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the north of England, the midlands and east, and the south of England.
Butchers were also honoured in four other categories: young butcher of the year, best farm shop, butcher's plus and best innovation. There was also a lifetime achievement award for meat trade stalwart Keith Boxley. He said: "I am surprised and a little embarassed to be honest, there are so many other butchers that deserve this as much as me.
"I have truly enjoyed my years as a butcher and have had a lot of fun, I always said if I quit being a butcher I would have to find a real job."
Daniel Marston, winner of young butcher of the year, told MTJ: "It feels excellent to be a winner. I thought I was in with a good chance once I got down to the last three but I am still overjoyed to have been chosen.
"I have always wanted to be a butcher, my father is a farmer and it just seemed like a natural progression for me, there is nothing else I would rather be doing."