Q Guild strengthens national membership

Q Guild strengthens national membership

The Butchers Q Guild has accepted five new members in the first half of the 2014, further cementing its nationwide representation.

Those that have joined the Q Guild – and some 110 fellow butchers from the Scottish Highlands down to the south coast, all at the elite end of the UK retail meat trade – are:

Tilehurst Village Butchers, near Reading, which has been trading as a butcher for almost 25 years, also stocking fruit and vegetables. The shop is run by Chris Watts and his wife Jane, who is a renowned pie-maker. Its range of home-made sausages includes some unusual and exotic varieties such as zebra, bison, wild boar and alpaca! All the store’s beef and lamb comes from local farm-assured suppliers.

The Moody Sow Farm Shop is a recent addition to Cefn Mably Farm Park in Old St Mellons, Cardiff. It’s the brainchild of fourth-generation farmer Rhys Edwards and his wife Alyona, with the farm shop managed by Anthony Tilbury. On its first-ever foray into the meat trade competition arena, Moody Sow was crowned national barbecue steak champion in the Q Guild’s annual 2014 Barbecue Contest.

Etherington’s Farm Shop in Wheal Rose, Cornwall, is part of a third generation family-run butchery business first established in 1954. Committed to selling local produce, the farm shop was launched in November, 2012, and has seen sales increase by 20% year on year. It is a Taste of the West 2013 award winner. Etherington’s Butchery Academy, Cornwall’s first bespoke butchery school, was launched in 2013.

Lewis of Sunningdale in Berkshire is another third generation family business established in 1931 and now run by Nigel Lewis. It has become a firm favourite of the stars, including Sir Bruce Forsyth, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Russell Crowe, Ernie Els and Russ Abbott. The Duke of York is also a customer. Lewis of Sunningdale has featured in the Times and also appeared on BBC TV’s The One Show.

G Simpson Butchers, of Heckington in Lincolnshire, was launched in 2000 by Gary Simpson, aged just 20 and unusually with no family history of the butchery trade. He bought a shop in Heckington in 2001, opened a second shop in Sleaford in 2009, followed by a third shop in Lincoln earlier this year. In 2013, the Heckington outlet won MTJ Best Butchers Shop in the Midlands and East of England.

All five new members say they are honoured to be recognised among the UK’s top butchers, regarding Q Guild membership as a seal of excellence. They report that they have already learned a great deal by being able to see what other leading Q butchers across the nation are doing to improve their businesses and also tap into expert help and advice.

Sandy Boyd, general manager of the Q Guild, said: “We’re delighted to welcome these new members on board. We know that their quality and innovation will sit very nicely with the values of the Guild.”

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