Bolster Moor Farm Shop makes Yorkshire competition history

For the first time in its 28-year history, a single business has won the top titles in two flagship categories at the Great Yorkshire Pork Pie, Sausage & Products Competition. 

Huddersfield-based Bolster Moor Farm Shop won the supreme and reserve supreme pie titles with its first prize-winning large and small pork pies. This feat was then repeated in the sausage section with its speciality sausage and thick pork sausage class winners.

Bolster Moor Farm Shop is no stranger to success at the competition, after winning the supreme sausage category last year and the supreme pork pie title in 2012 and 2013.

“We’ve certainly worked big time for the competition,” said Simon Haigh (pictured, third left), who runs the business with his second cousin, Andrew Whitwam. “It has been a massive team effort, so it’s a great reward to win this – we’d been up since 4am on the morning of the contest getting everything ready. This is the big one for us, particularly now that it has been opened up to be a national event.”

The business is based at Harden Road Farm and employs 85 people. It is a family-run operation, with Haigh’s son, Luke (pictured, third right), working as a butcher and Whitwam’s 17-year-old son, Henry (pictured, second left), also integral members of the business. Also part of the winning team was pie-maker Gary Sugden (pictured, second right).

Bolster Moor’s supreme champion speciality sausage was made from a pork, chilli and cheddar recipe developed in-house and was awarded a maximum 60 out of 60 marks. It was described as “the perfect sausage” by judges. Glossop Q Guild butcher and former president of the National Federation of Meat & Food Traders John Mettrick, who also judged the competition, said: “I have never tasted a speciality sausage as good as this one.”

Luke Haigh explained the inspiration behind the winning sausage: “We like anything with cheese, and chilli is quite popular at the moment. People are experimenting a lot with chillis, so it’s something we really wanted to try.

“Everything we’ve had here is made exactly to the same recipes we use in the shop. A lot of hard work has gone into it and it really makes it worthwhile to spend all those hours to come out on top.”

All of the pork sourced from the family-run store comes from local farm Paddy’s Pigs, while its beef is raised on its own farm. “It’s important to us to keep it all local, but also high-quality,” added Haigh.

This year’s competition was open to all UK independent retail butchers, farm shops and bakers who make their products on their own premises. Almost 250 products were entered into the competition this year.

“The quality throughout was every bit as good as ever, though Bolster Moor Farm Shop’s clean sweep of the major prizes really is history-making,” said Mike Ward, secretary of the Confederation of Yorkshire Butchers Councils. “We change and rotate the judges every year and no one knows whose products they are judging and tasting. For them to take all four leading honours is nothing short of remarkable.”

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