Butcher’s pride as he’s named top of the chops

John Buckwell, left, celebrates with the other finalists at the Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards
John Buckwell, left, celebrates with the other finalists at the Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards

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A BUTCHER has told of his pride after winning a prestigious county award,

Buckwells, of Southsea, scooped the Hampshire Life Food & Drink award for Butcher of the Year.

The Osborne Road shop was praised for its contribution to the local food community through supplying nearby restaurants, as well as the quality of the meat and its family-centric structure.

John Buckwell, 70, has been a butcher for over 55 years, and said it was one of the proudest moments of his life.

He said: ‘It feels really good to have won the award. I’m absolutely over the moon.

‘I was overwhelmed with joy when it was announced.

‘Sometimes it is easy to forget just how big Hampshire is, so to be called the best butcher in the entire county is rather special indeed.

Mr Buckwell said that meat quality alone wouldn’t be enough to win the award.

He added: ‘It isn’t just about the meat, it is about having a personal relationship with your customers and a good supply network.

‘I think that is what helps us to really set ourselves apart from other butchers in the county.

‘As far as the food industry goes, we want to do our part to put Southsea on the map.

‘We have a sign on the door saying “Award-winning Butcher”. I might change it to “Best Butcher In Hampshire”!’

Having been in the industry since 1961, Mr Buckwell has seen the booming of supermarket food culture, which hurt local butchers.

But he feels as though a change is on the horizon.

He said: ‘A lot of young people are coming into our trade and getting their own businesses, which is great news. People are starting to become more concerned not only about where their food comes from, but also about growing a relationship with their food supplier.

‘There is clearly a revival coming to the butcher trade and it is great to see.

‘I’d say it’s a bit like the resurgence of vinyl – its a throwback to what people consider to be the good old days.’