Butchers Q Guild expands membership

Brendan Anderton Butchers (pictured) in Longridge has been welcomed back into the national Butchers Q Guild, after already holding membership in previous years. The business will join 116 independent butchers across the UK.

“We wanted to get back into the club to, again, share and benefit from the knowledge, expertise, ideas and inspiration of other like-minded butchers across the nation,” said Brendan Anderton of the business, who recently qualified as a Master Butcher.

“Our own business is moving forwards quickly and being members of the Q Guild once again will help us to keep ahead and rise to the future challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
Anderton first got into the trade at the tender age of 15 upon leaving school. In 1972, he and his wife Petrina purchased what was once an electrician’s shop. It is at this location that the business continues to thrive.

Following in the family footsteps, Anderton’s sons, Austin and Roger, were both 15 when they began their career in butchery after joining the family business in the 1980s. All three members of the Anderton family are graduate members of the Institute of Meat.

The business also has a catering arm, which runs a fleet of 11 refrigerated vans delivering throughout the north-west and North Wales region. The client base includes the private and public sectors.

“It’s great to have Brendan Anderton Butchers back in the fold and enhance our presence across the north-west,” said Q Guild manager Gordon Newlands. “Both the quality and values of their progressive business dovetail perfectly with those of the Q Guild. We look forward to welcoming them to regional meetings and participating in our social events.”

Meanwhile, Tilehurst Village Butchers near Reading has added more of its shops into the guild. After first becoming a member in 2014, two of Tilehurst Village Butchers’ concession meat counters are joining the exclusive society. The shops can be found in Budgens in Mortimer Common and Dobbies in Shinfield.

Tilehurst Village Butchers supplies both outlets with a full range of locally sourced meat products prepared at its main shop which was established over 25 years ago and is run by husband and wife team, Chris and Jane Watts.

“Both concessions are doing really well – we are very pleased,” said Jane Watts. “They represent a major expansion as far as our business in concerned and there may well be an opportunity to take on more in the future, providing we can find the right people to man them.”

Chris added: “Over the past two years, we have benefited tremendously from being a member of the Q Guild. The information provided at our regional meetings and the ideas and inspiration we get for our own business by networking with other like-minded butchers has proved invaluable.

“We saw it as a natural progression to apply for guild membership for our two new concession counters and we are delighted they have been accepted into this prestigious fold.”

Newlands said it was both “pleasing and gratifying” to see existing members add more stores to the Q Guild.

“It’s also interesting to note that high-profile independent retailers such as Budgens and Dobbies are increasingly and actively seeking out Q Guild Butchers to man and run their in-house butchery counters as concessions.”

Further adding to the ever-growing list of Q Guild members is Lincolnshire-based Simpsons Butchers after seeing its outlet at Four Seasons Garden Centre in Sleaford accepted as a member. This means that all six of Simpsons shops now hold Q Guild membership.

Its Heckington store, which has held membership for three years, was named Meat Trades Journal’s Butcher’s Shop of the Year 2015. All five other stores became members this year.

“Hopefully, this shows that after an 18-month period of serious growth we have managed to maintain the quality and standard of not only the Simpsons brand, but also demonstrate the top level of consistency that is required to be accepted into the Q Guild,” commented Gary Simpson, owner of the enterprise.

“It’s a great accolade – not only for me personally, but also everyone who is playing a part in Simpsons Butchers. It’s a great achievement, which shows our discerning customers that we are maintaining high levels of hygiene standards, as well as high levels of counter products and shop designs.”

He highlighted that this was helping the brand to showcase “butchery at its finest”, with consistent quality throughout all six stores.

“Awards we have received over the last few years are allowing us to expand at a rapid pace with high levels of current growth, as well as more strategic and extensive planned future growth in the next 18-24 months.

“Along with maintaining and improving quality, service and product ideas internally, staffing is the key issue that Simpsons will be addressing over the next few months, rolling out our own unique training schedules for both current and new staff.

“Central to this will be a strong focus on getting more younger people involved in the trade to help develop not only our brand into the next generation, but also butchery in general.”

Newlands added that the Q Guild was “delighted to welcome another Simpsons Butchers” as members.

“Gary Simpson and his teams remain valued and enthusiastic members of our expanding organisation and it’s great to see that Simpsons is itself also experiencing a period of rapid, yet carefully controlled expansion.”

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