South Shropshire News
Local Retailer Ludlow Food Centre wins Butcher Of The Year in the Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2015
6th February 2015
Edward Berry, Managing Director at Ludlow Food Centre says,
‘It is an honour to win this award. We are extremely proud that we were nominated by our customers and that we were chosen out of such a strong field by the judges. We only sell beef, lamb and pedigree Gloucester Old Spot pork that is reared on our Oakly Park Estate in the fields to the north of Ludlow. This award is a real achievement for our butchery team, many of whom started with us as apprentices. John Brereton, our butchery manager, is to be commended for his hard work, building and training a butchery team of young butchers to win an award of this calibre.’
The Food Centre is unique because it has eight productions kitchens including the butchery, a bakery, a dairy, jam and pickle kitchen and a coffee roasting room. Last year the team at the Food Centre won the Farm Shop & Deli Show Best Food Hall award and this year their butchers have continued the winning spirit. John Brereton came to the Earl of Plymouth’s Oakly Park Estate before the Centre was built with the goal of creating a new butchery and a new butchery team. He has trained five apprentices, one of which, Andrew Brassington, won Britain’s Best young Butcher in 2012. John’s success has come from being able to control every part of the process. The diet the animals are fed, the size they are slaughtered and the way his team prepare the finished product. He and the team at the Food Centre are worthy winners and by combining good animal husbandry with attention to detail they have created an award winning product and an award winning butchery. Head butcher, John Brereton says
‘This award represents the efforts of a large team. Our stockmen, an excellent local abattoir just six miles away, my team of butchers and all the staff at the Food Centre. The willingness of my apprentices and their ability to learn so much so quickly has been brilliant and without them we would never have progressed to this level so quickly. For our customers and the judges to appreciate the work we put in is reward enough but to be recognised at this level and amongst such esteemed competition is a real honour.’
Now in its second year, the Farm Shop & Deli Awards, in partnership with Olives Et Al, recognises the very best standards in the speciality retail market and celebrates the highest levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement. The Awards praise the unsung heroes of the high street and speciality retail scene with categories ranging from butchers, bakers, farm shops and delis through to garden centres, food halls and online businesses.
The awards were judged by a team of expert judges from the world of speciality retail, fine food and food media. Once the award entries had been received the judges drew up a shortlist of entrants and then carried out a series of ‘secret’ visits in December 2014 to see the entrants in action.
Judge Nigel Barden, Chairman of Judges and Food and Drink Journalist/Broadcaster, says: “Another brilliantly rewarding set of visits. There are some very focused, driven and talented food retailers in Britain, who deserve to be nourished and encouraged. It’s marvellous that these awards can bring them to much wider attention.”
The Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2015 received a record number of entrants from over 500 businesses across the UK, along with thousands of public votes from consumers supporting their favourite speciality retailers.
Ludlow Food Centre was one of twelve category winners and twenty three commended chosen following a day of intensive judging by leading speciality retailers and key industry figures along with mystery visits conducted throughout December by Nigel Barden and Elaine Lemm.
The scores will now be counted and judged within the nine UK regions, announcing the Regional Champions in March – these winners will go through to the final with the chance to win Retailer of the Year. The overall winner will be announced at the Farm Shop & Deli Show on Monday 20 April 2015 at 2:45pm at Birmingham’s NEC.
For more information about Ludlow Food Centre, visit: www.ludlowfoodcentre.co.uk
For more information about the Awards, visit: www.farmshopanddelishow.co.uk/awards