Mellors takes top title again

A Newark butcher was celebrating after taking home a top title for the second year running. Peter Mellors, of Mellors Farm Shop, took the overall champion title at the East Midlands Bpex Regional Roadshow and Product Evaluation event.

Judges rated his chicken, ham and cheese pie the best in show, and Peter also took the champion title in the traditional pork pie category and walked away with a total of 10 gold awards.

Thirty-eight butchers put forward a total of 190 products for evaluation across the event’s 12 categories.

Peter said: “I am extremely pleased with the awards we received. We have always taken on board comments from the judges as, at the end of the day, they are the experts.

“In this business you cannot afford to become complacent. To assume that receiving an award for a product once is enough would be wrong. The market is constantly changing and you have to keep up with it. You have to get out there and promote your products and get the recognition, which is where the roadshows really help.

“We put a lot of care and attention into our products and source quality ingredients for them. The Chicken, Ham and Cheese Pie is an example of one product that we have been making for 10 years, which was originally created for a competition and is still one of our best-sellers today. It is delicious with a salad and an alternative to a traditional pork pie, which some people find too heavy.”

Another hugely successful entrant was Carl Fenton from D J Fenton in Doncaster. Carl was awarded three category champion titles for his speciality pork ‘Mediterranean Sausage,’ a ‘Beef and Guinness Sausage’ and a hot speciality eating ‘Steak, Ale, and Mushroom Pie’, along with five gold awards. Carl said: “It was a good night and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Of course, this was made better thanks to our success! We’ve done well in the pie category before but never triumphed with the speciality sausage. It was also the first time we’ve entered the Lamb or Beef sausage category, having taken some time trialling a number of varieties, so we’re absolutely delighted to do so well with the ‘Beef and Guinness Sausage’.

“Everyone at the shop is involved in coming up with ideas and creating new products, so when we get such positive recognition it is a real boost for the whole team. It’s also great for our customers who get to enjoy award-winning food.”

Keith Fisher, Bpex butchery and product development manager, said: “These events recognise and reward butchers and their fantastic quality products. Consumers are looking for great quality and service when it comes to purchasing meat and this is where butchers and farm shops come into their own.

“The awards are a fantastic way to help local independent businesses stand out from the crowd and attract new customers, and we congratulate all of those who took part and did so well. In fact, nine out of 10 products picked up an award, with over half achieving gold – this is a real credit to butchers in the region.”

As a Regional Champion, Mellors Farm Butchers now has a chance of winning the title of National Champion title at the grand final this summer.