Edwards of Conwy crowned Butcher's Shop of the Year 2014

Edwards of Conwy was celebrating today (Friday 14 November) after being the first Welsh butchery business to take the overall title of Butcher’s Shop of the Year 2014.

The company, which had previously taken the title of Welsh Butcher’s Shop of the Year, went on to beat off strong competition from throughout the rest of the UK to take the overall title.

Ieuan Edwards, managing director of Edwards of Conwy, said he was delighted to win the title of Butcher's Shop of the Year for many reasons. “It's our 30th year as a business, so it's a great way to celebrate. We had a major refit earlier this year, so we have hopefully shown our support for the industry and for and the high street.

“We've won the Welsh title in the past, but to go and win the national title is a truly great feeling for all the team.” He said the refit has really re-energised the business and set it on the right path for the next 10-20 years. “We are also currently looking at our products and seeing how many ways we can sell them - hot, cold, marinated for example, so we can multi-sell them.”

Meanwhile, John Green, joint director of Wilsons of Crossgates - winner of the North of England category - said in the age of social media, “it's a great tool to promote your business and you can use the win in future promotions. It's something we're obviously really happy to have won.”

Other winners in the Butcher’s Shop of the Year competition, which is organised by Meat Trades Journal, included: Glasgow-based S Collins & Son, which took the title of Innovation of the Year for its loyalty card scheme; Gafoor Pure Halal, which took home the award for Halal Butcher’s Shop of the Year; and Primacy Meats Food Village, which was handed the award for Butcher’s Plus.

The New Business of the Year title was taken by the Notting Hill-based Provenance Meat Company, which impressed judges with its focus on breed-specific and rare breed meats. The Farm Shop title was awarded to Knitsley Farm Shop in County Durham.

Munir Patel, manager of Gafoor Pure Halal - winner of the Halal Butcher's Shop of the Year, said it was a great feeling to win. “All our hard work has really paid off.” The shop has only been open since December 2013 and he said he believed this win would really help get extra customers through the door.

Ed Bedington, editor of Meat Trades Journal, said: “These awards are a great honour and privilege to host and I’d like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists involved. Judging these awards reveals a lot about the state of the butchery sector, and it’s fair to say, on this evidence, that the independent retail trade remains in robust good health.

“Whether it’s good solid business practices, or innovative and unique ideas, the high street butcher continues to evolve and stay ahead of the field. These awards are a great testament to that and it’s particularly exciting to see the new businesses coming on board as well.”

The Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards took place at the five-star Rosewood Hotel in London and were presented by Sky Sports presenter Ed Chamberlin. The competition celebrates excellence throughout the butchery sector and aims to recognise and reward hard work in a range of categories.

The competition is sponsored by Bpex, Eblex, Institute of Meat, Lucas Ingredients, Tican Chilled, Verstegen Spices and Sauces and Weddel Swift and Harmony Farm.

Full winners were:

Midlands & East of England Butcher’s Shop of the Year:
G Simpson Butchers

North of England Butcher’s Shop of the Year:
Wilsons of Crossgates

Northern Ireland Butcher’s Shop of the Year:
Clogher Valley Meats

Scottish Butcher’s Shop of the Year:
John Lawson Butchers & Delicatessen

South of England Butcher’s Shop of the Year:
HG Walter

Welsh Butcher’s Shop of the Year:
Edwards of Conwy

Young Butcher of the Year:
George Taylor – Country Harvest

New Butchery Business of the Year:
The Provenance Meat Company

Butcher’s Plus:
Primacy Meats Food Village

Farm Shop of the Year:
Knitsley Farm Shop and Granary Café

Halal Butcher’s Shop of the Year:
Gafoor Pure Halal

Innovation of the Year:
S Collins & Son

Overall Butcher’s Shop of the Year:
Edwards of Conwy

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