Sleaford area butchers win top national award

From left - Craig Woodhall of Raps (sponsors), Steff Munks, Freddy Creedon, Gary Simpson of Simpsons Butchers and Miles Jupp - comedian and presenter. EMN-170507-100321001
From left - Craig Woodhall of Raps (sponsors), Steff Munks, Freddy Creedon, Gary Simpson of Simpsons Butchers and Miles Jupp - comedian and presenter. EMN-170507-100321001

Simpson’s Butchers of Heckington have been named Britain’s Best Butchers Shop 2017 at a national meat industry awards ceremony.

The award was presented by leading industry trade magazine Meat Management at an illustrious black tie dinner award ceremony last week at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel to cap off a memorable few years for the local butchers.

James Taylor of Simpsons Butchers. EMN-170507-100342001

James Taylor of Simpsons Butchers. EMN-170507-100342001

This prestigious award follows numerous awards and recognition within the industry for the business which started out with one shop in Heckington in 2000 and has gone on to have branches in Sleaford, Lincoln, Spalding, South Hykeham and Stamford, as well as an online store. Led by owner Gary Simpson, from Great Hale, it was also crowned Meat Trades Journal Britain’s Butchers Shop of The Year 2015, Midlands and East of England’s Butchers Shop of the Year 2013, 2014, 2015 as well as the Lincolnshire Poacher Butcher of The Year 2014-2016 and 2016-2018, membership to the elite Q-Guild of butchers and many more regional titles.

Delighted Gary said: “It’s testament to everyone’s hard work involved with Simpsons Butchers. A huge thank you must go to all our loyal customers who recognise the hard work that goes into the business.

“The recognition we have received from the industry nationwide over the last few years has been nothing short of spectacular. Hopefully we are putting butchery in Lincolnshire firmly on the map. Over the last couple of years we have had parties come and visit from France, Holland, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland and numerous businesses from the rest of the UK.

“As well as the natural growth of the company we have big plans for the future too, although I can’t go into details as yet, it should be a period of excitement for everyone involved”.

Once on the short list for this national award Simpson’s were visited by two prominent members of the meat trade, who judged the shop on all aspects of the business including traceability, quality of produce, butchering standards, display, staff knowledge, shop layout and customer service.

Many of Gary’s’ staff have been with the company for over ten years and Gary is now looking for the next generation of talented butchers with an official apprenticeship scheme introduced across all six stores, which includes practical and academic assessments resulting in nationally recognised qualifications.

James Taylor started as an apprentice at Simpson’s Butchers and at 21 years of age, has an extremely bright future in the industry. James was one of three finalists in the UK Young Butcher of The Year 2015 and 2016. He has also represented the UK in May 2017 in The International Young Butcher Competition, coming in tenth place.

He has also just won the English heat of the UK World Skills Championships with the finals taking place in November.

If you know someone who wants to learn a trade and would like to follow in James’ footsteps then visit

For more Information please contact Stephen Doherty 01522 533438.