BUTCHER Ben Sawyers is on a sausage roll as his shop received gold awards for its bangers.
Ben runs Tull’s Fine Foods, in The Square, Wickham, and he said he is overjoyed to be able to add Great Hampshire Sausage and Pie Competition Award Winner to the shop’s list of accolades.
The team, led by Ben, achieved gold awards in two categories in the annual contest, run by food group Hampshire Fare, despite this being their first time entering the competition.
This year the contest attracted more than 200 entries in 13 categories from 38 butchers. The entries were assessed by a panel of judges who followed strict national guidelines focusing on external and internal appearance, texture, structure, colour, aroma and taste.
Tull’s was awarded gold in the Traditional Pork Sausage category and 20-year-old Nathan Jones-Morris was awarded gold in the Young Sausage Maker category.
Ben said he was delighted with their success.
‘The whole team is really excited to have achieved so much with our first attempt,’ he said. ‘We have been making sausages at Tull’s for years, and the compliments we receive from our customers have now been validated with these two gold awards.
‘I’m especially pleased for Nathan who successfully completed his butcher apprenticeship last year and whose pork and ale sausages are real winners.’
Tull’s Fine Foods acquired the West Meon-based butcher, Harriotts, in February last year, and sausages, including the award winners, are best sellers in both shops.
Spurred on by their achievements, Ben is looking forward to developing more beef and lamb sausages and adding home-made black pudding and faggots to their range.
The butchers also supplies a large number of restaurants in the area. And it was named Butcher of the Year by The News two years ago.
Ben and the team are now on the look out for the next competition.
He said: ‘While our greatest motivation is the satisfaction of our customers, winning awards like this does give us all a real boost, so we’re looking forward to seeing what other competitions we can enter.’