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Wiltshire butchers Walter Rose and Son will soon be looking for a looking for a trophy cabinet rather than a chill cabinet in their Devizes shop if they continue their award winning ways.
This week the 160-year-old family business finished runner up in the Meat Management Magazine’s Catering Butcher of the Year Awards which were announced at the Royal Kensington Hotel, London, yesterday (Thursday). It’s the sixth major award the business has picked up in the last 12 months – and owner, Steve Cook, says there’s more to come.
“We’re looking to improve what we do and how we do it every working day.
“Our product development and customer service commitment has carried us to the final of no fewer than six major awards including last year’s Butchers’ Shop of the Year Award.
“Earlier this year, we won the Environment and Food Production category in the Wiltshire Wildlife trust’s Corporate Green Awards scheme - which is aimed at celebrating and promoting environmental best practice among businesses based in Wiltshire.”
Walter Rose and Son is among the leading suppliers to the catering sector in the South of England and counts a number of Michelin starred restaurants among its customers as well as hotels, pubs and in-house caterers.
Mr Cook said: “This is a tremendous accolade for us and we’re very proud to have got so far in this competition at our first attempt.
“We are one of the smaller players in the sector but we are growing fast. We think it is important to listen to our customers and we pride ourselves on meeting - and exceeding – their expectations and I’m sure that counts for a lot in this kind of competition.”
Steve is an award-winning third generation butcher and his wife, brother and two sons have now come into the business extending the business itself to four generations of the same family.
Most of their meat is locally sourced, grown by farmers Steve knows personally.
It is processed in a small, local abattoir and managed by his experienced team until it reaches its peak.
Mr Cook added: “The way our products are prepared, presented and ultimately their eating quality are absolutely paramount for us.
“We work with our farmers, bringing them in as part of the team, to select the breeds and maintain the highest standards of welfare and production so that everybody is working towards the common goal of ensuring that what goes out of the door is the very best it can possibly be.”
Butchers work through the night, six nights a week and everything is produced, sliced and diced by hand to individual requirements.
Delivering complete orders and being flexible enough to accommodate last minute changes are top priorities – and Steve says they are carrying through a major improvement programme.
Mr Cook said: “We understand that our success depends on our customers’ satisfaction with our product and service – so we are committed to a continuous programme of development in both product innovation and processing.
“By the time the 2013 awards come round, our £500,000 investment in a new EU compliant cutting and processing plant will have come on line - ensuring the very latest technology and equipment is in place to help us deliver on our second-to-none service commitment.”