Falkirk butcher's bangers are real gems

A family butcher has picked up not one but two diamond awards for its marvellous meat products in this year’s Q Guild of Butchers 2020 Smithfield Star Awards.

By James Trimble
Monday, 22nd June 2020, 4:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 9:18 am

Thomas Johnston Butchers, in Cow Wynd, Falkirk, gained one diamond prize for its traditional pork sausage and another for its impressive fresh meat counter display.

Judges said the best traditional pork banger – which the Falkirk butcher describes as a “great shop favourite” – was “a superb traditional pork sausage – well presented, with a superb texture and taste”.

There was also praise aplenty for the shop’s fresh meat counter display, which judges described as a “well presented layout, great mix of products, superb display and informative ticketing”.

Falkirk's Johnstons Butchers team, which includes shop manager Rod Gillie and butcher Alan Michie, earned two best of the best Diamond accolades in the Q Guild of Butchers 2020 Smithfield Star Awards

Thomas Johnston Butchers received two glass trophies from sponsors Lucas Ingredients for the Traditional Pork Sausage and Scobie & Junor for the Fresh Meat Display categories.

Rod Gillie, managing director of Thomas Johnston Butchers, said: “Naturally, we’re over the moon to pick up two category-leading Diamond awards in the face of such strong competition from our fellow butchers nationwide.

“I dedicate these successes to our entire team.”

Thomas Johnston’s Jake Waugh (18) is one to watch for the future – he was shortlisted for a diamond award himself for his Pork Podango, a pork-based BBQ product on a skewer with an apple and schnitzel mix.

Judges described Jake as “a dedicated and hard-working member of staff, well-presented and proud of his product”.

Rod said: “The Pork Podangos created great fun in the summer and sold well. Jake has worked for us for two years and in this time has developed from a raw school leaver into a much-valued member of staff.

“Along with the excellent work ethic Jake possesses, he is just a really nice guy who gets along with both staff and customers. He is a great all-rounder – nothing is too much trouble for him.

“The highest accolade I can give to Jake is when I retire I will be looking to him to carry the torch forward and manage the shop.”

Thomas Johnston Butchers received six product awards in total with three star successes for sliced black pudding, steak burger and sirloin steak.

Claire Holland, Butchers Q Guild general manager, said: “These awards are a great way of showcasing our members and their achievements. They work really hard to develop outstanding products and to keep up with consumer trends therefore to have it topped off with an industry judged accolade is the icing on the cake, for which they should be very proud.”