Devizes butchers in running for major national award

Monday, 12th November 2012

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A Devizes family butchers’ business is hoping its innovative approach to marketing and customer care will help it scoop a major national award at a presentation in London later this month.

Walter Rose and Son, which has shops in Devizes and Trowbridge, has reached the finals of a national competition to find the best butchers’ shop in the country for the second year running.

Later this month they go head-to-head with other shops from across the country in the Meat Trades Journal’s Butcher’s Shop of the Year competition. Owner Steve Cook admits it’s a tough challenge but says it is one he’s looking forward to.

“We’re trying to combine the very best traditions of the past with the techniques and technology of the present to produce a business fit for the future,” he said.

The Butcher’s Shop of the Year Award is open to butchers’ shops around the country, with one winner from each region competing for the title of the overall best butcher’s shop in the UK.

Mr Cook is an award-winning third generation butcher – but alongside tradition he has also embraced the demands of the modern market place and understands that consumers now want to know the full story of what’s on their plate. Their range of products includes award-winning home-made sausages and burgers and special and unusual cuts such as French trimmed venison cutlets, spider steaks or single muscle rumps.

Much of the beef, lamb, pork and poultry they sell is all produced within a few miles of the shop. There are DVDs running in the shops showing customers where the animals are raised and the conditions they are brought up in and live animals are a regular feature on the Walter Rose stand at the annual Devizes Food Festival.

The butchery skills Mr Cook learned from his father and grandfather have formed the backbone of the business.

“We’re incorporating the very best traditions of our trade with the demands of the 21st century. That means we’re offering locally produced meat with exceptional eating quality, the skill and care of craft butchery combined with high grade information about the origin and welfare of the animals. Our business model is based on offering a friendly, knowledgeable, service but one which is sympathetic to the requirements of the modern, working family,” he said.

The family traditions are set to continue as Mr Cook’s brother, Andrew, now heads up the catering section while Mr Cook’s sons, Jack and Charlie, have now joined the team and are playing their part in the business.

The winners are due to be announced at a dinner in London on November 22 but for the Walter Rose and Son team its still business as normal.

“It would be a great honour to win the award and bring it back to Devizes because everybody in our team contributes, we believe that quality doesn’t just apply to the product - quality of service, reliability and delivery are equally important and that’s why people enjoy visiting the shops because all the staff know this business inside-out,” said Mr Cook.

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