Butchers win best in UK award

Gary Simpson clutches his Britain's Best Butcher's Shop 2015 award.
Gary Simpson clutches his Britain's Best Butcher's Shop 2015 award.

A butchers in Heckington has proven it is a cut above the rest of the country by winning the Britain’s Best Butchers Shop award 2015.

Simpsons Butchers say they are ‘very proud’ to have won the biggest award in their industry – describing it as a huge morale booster for staff.

“It’s a fantastic tribute to all the hard work that we have put into running a modern butchers shop that still has traditional values,” said owner Gary Simpson.

“I’m particularly proud because I am first generation butcher and we were up against butchers whose families have a rich history in the trade.”

Simpsons beat off competition from Scotland, Northern Ireland, North of England, South of England and Wales to take the title.

And Gary now has a beefy haul of trophies – having scooped the award for the regional Midlands and East Midlands region for the last two years running.

He says the firm’s success comes down to a mixture of quality, customer service and consistency.

Speaking at the awards, he said: “It’s just a fantastic feeling for myself for all the hard work I put in, and every member of staff, and family and friends, who have been behind me to support everything. It’s a great award for everybody involved in Simpsons Butchers.”

Simpsons now operate six stores across Lincolnshire, with Heckington being their flagship store.

Based in Cameron Street, the shop opened in 2001 and underwent a complete refit this earlier this year. This included a state-of-the art dry-aging cabinet and ultra quiet and efficient refrigeration units to store their wide range of products.

“I think it now represents what Simpsons has achieved and how we wanted to be perceived – as a modern and innovative butchers, but one that uses butchering techniques passed down through the ages,” said Gary.

Buying their carcasses whole, they are able to supply a range of traditional cuts of meat – along with more modern products.

“We will have the traditional cuts on offer, but then we will be able to introduce them to a whole range of exciting and contemporary products they may not have tried before,” added Gary.

The awards, run by Meat Trades Journal, was held in Leeds last week.

Simpsons’ youngest butcher James Taylor also made it to the final three for Young Butcher of the Year.

Gary added: “He has been training with me for two years and his nomination underlines Simpsons’ commitment to young people in the industry and giving them the skills to succeed.”