Boghall Butchers have lifted the title of Scottish Butchers Shop of the Year at the prestigious meat industry awards held on Thursday in Leeds. Paul and Christine Boyle were at the Aspire in Leeds to receive the trophy from Graeme Sharp from the Scotch Butchers Club.
After previous attempts at the title, Paul said "I thought this day would never ever come". He went on to praise both his staff and customers for taking him to the most coveted title in the Scottish retail meat trade.
"Our shop is on the centre of a housing estate and you would never think that prizes like this would come to,a housing estate. It just shows that our hard work over the years has paid off."
Speaking at Leeds full of the elation of his newly crowned success Paul continued:-
"People have been so good, supported us and pushed us on. I really never thought that it come to the stage where we could be contenders for it, never mind anything else. The fact that we are here now and the fact that we have won it really we will now have to concentrate on putting it to good use. I am absolutely delighted and it shows that perseverance and hard word have paid off in the end."
The Butchers Shop of the Year Awards promote, reward and help foster excellence among butchers across the UK. Introducing the awards Rod Addy, Editor of the Meat Trades Journal said:-
“Judging these awards has really opened my eyes to the talent, creativity and determination of effort that play an essential part in this dynamic sector. It has been a privilege to meet butchers in posh villages, middle class suburban towns and bustling rough and ready urban thoroughfares. A great deal of you are either diversifying offers in existing stores or opening multiple outlets. Let no one say that independent can’t thrive in any environment.
“Speaking to many of the entrants also swiftly debunked the myth that supermarkets opening in their vicinity spell their doom. Again and again you reported that your businesses actually benefited from increased footfall and sales.”
With Paul and Christine in Leeds knowing that they were one of three finalists for Scottish Butchers Shop of the Year the suspense waiting for the announcement was painful for daughter Mariesha and the staff back in Bathgate. Customers too were dropping in to hear if there was any news for south of the border.
"The customers feel part of everything we have achieved, this will spur them on to increase their interest in the business. Without their interest in the business, the business is nothing. It keeps our name firmly on their lips and if we can continue to do that then that would be as successful a business as it has been over the last few years."
Boghall Butchers are two times World Scotch Pie Champions - 2006 and 2009 - and they have won fistful of titles at the British Pie Awards in Melton Mowbray but Paul felt that this was the pinnacle that he and Christine had so sorely wanted. He continued:-
"When you achieve awards as we have done in the past, we need to keep at the top all off the time but this is the icing on the cake for all the awards that we have won.
"We were up against stiff competition and I know now how John Lawson must have felt last year when he won it. It would have been a proud day for my father because part of John's working life and his training was spent with my father in his shop, so for that to happen again is unbelievable.
"Now we will concentrate on using the title to our advantage and pushing the business forward again."
Other Scottish finalists were Patrick's of Camelon and John Lawson, Uphall.
West Lothian Butcher joins Masterchef Presenter to Launch Scotch Lamb Campaign
A West Lothian butcher, who prides himself on the quality of his meat and award-winning pies, joined Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace this week to urge consumers to make the most of the versatility and simplicity of cooking Scotch Lamb PGI.
Paul Boyle and his wife Christine, who own Boghall Butchers, are members of Quality Meat Scotland’s Scotch Butchers Club and employ 11 staff in their shops in Bathgate and Broxburn. The couple provide a traditional, quality service whilst capitalising on new opportunities, including developing a range of innovative products, most recently a Scotch Lamb en croute.
Following his business matra of “Say aye tae a pie”, Mr Boyle presented Mr Wallace with a tray of his legendary Scotch Lamb pies, made from locally-sourced Scotch Lamb.
“Scotch Lamb is a firm favourite of ours and we have loads of great recipes and suggestions which we share with our customers on a daily basis,” said Mr Boyle.
“With the right cut of Scotch Lamb and a little preparation, customers can have food on the table in a matter of minutes.”
Mr Wallace said there was huge scope for many more people to routinely enjoy Scotch Lamb, particularly at this time of year when it is at its most plentiful.
“Lamb had always been my personal favourite and there is real potential for lots more of us to be making the most of this natural, easy-to-cook product which is bursting with flavour and such a great ingredient for a whole range of quick, tasty dishes,” said Mr Wallace.
Mr Wallace’s visit to Scotland is part of the launch by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) of a high-impact advertising campaign behind Scotch Lamb PGI targeting 3.7 million consumers. The 2015 Scotch Lamb PGI campaign - set to reach over 90% of Scottish adults – is building on last year’s very successful campaign which boosted retail sales of lamb in Scotland by 11%.
“This year’s campaign is very much building on last year’s recipe for success. It was not only those who are lamb-eaters who bought more lamb during the campaign period but also new consumers who don’t usually buy lamb even once a year,” said Suzie Carlaw, QMS Marketing Controller.
A key objective of the 2015 campaign is to encourage consumers to understand the versatility, simplicity and speed of cooking with lamb. The two month long campaign will harness a range of marketing activities to drive Scotch Lamb sales.
The marketing push will include billboard, press and radio advertising as well as on-line and in-store activity including 80 days of activity by Scotch “Lambassadors” in Tesco and Asda.
Recipe leaflets and other point of sale materials will also be distributed via the members of the Scotch Butchers Club, run by QMS.
A range of new videos for on-line and social media use, featuring Edinburgh-based chef Daniella Forbes and Glasgow-based chef Justin Maule demonstrating simple, delicious dishes, has also been produced.
This year’s “Love Scotch Lamb Weekend” will be on September 5th and 6th, when a range of activities will take place around the country to celebrate all that is wonderful about Scotch Lamb PGI.
Historically, Scotland has consumed less lamb than other parts of GB. Around 4,000 tonnes of lamb (worth around £34 million) is eaten each year in Scotland with about 44% of the population purchasing lamb at least once in the last year (versus 57.8% in Great Britain).
The target audience for the campaign is very much young professionals and busy working parents and the message is very much that lamb is not just for roasting at the weekend – it can also make a quick, nutritious mid-week meal for all ages to enjoy.
2015 SCOTCH PIE AWARDS
The 2015 World Scotch Pie Champion is Murrays Bakers in Perth.
Butchers did really well in their annual challenge with bakers. Double category winners were Tom Courts Quality Meats, Cowdenbeath for Sausage Rolls and Savouries to eat cold. Ann Davidson in Scone won the best hand held Steak Pie, AJ Learmonth in Jedburgh won the Savouries to eat hot, Tom Courts Quality Foods the savoury to eat cold and Boghall Butchers won the Fish Pie category.
Our results are:
FISH PIES Diamond - Cod & White Wine Pie
APPLE PIES Gold - Bramley Family Apple Pie
SAVOURY PIES (to eat hot) Gold - Chicken Balmoral Round
STEAK PIES (hand held) Bronze