ur long-established business has just been named ‘England’s Best Butcher 2005 – 2006’. Our reputation is built on our commitment to providing only the best quality products, backed up by customer service levels that we strive to make second to none.
Outside Wilsons Butchers
Whilst we never lose sight of the fact that our success is built on our role as the local family butcher, offering traditional quality meat products, we have also expanded and diversified our product range to include pies, cooked meats and a wide range of delicious hand made sausages. In fact we are almost as well known for our pies and sausage as for our quality meat.
In recent years we have twice won the small pork pie category of the Great Yorkshire Pork Pie Competition and in 2005 we won the annual Pork Pie Appreciation Society competition. We have also just been judged Champion Thin Pork Sausage in the Great Yorkshire Competition 2005-2006.
Of course, we could not have gained these accolades without our loyal, hardworking and experienced members of staff. We have a successful training scheme to ensure that the entire team has a thorough knowledge of the latest developments in our trade - and that they enjoy what they do.
Wilsons have been members of the industry-leading Guild of Q Butchers since 1988. The Guild is an association of independent meat retailers committed to offering top quality meat and meat-related products, with customer service to match. High standards of hygiene, food safety and risk assessment are essential criteria for membership, with independent audits carried out at all member shops.
Inside Wilsons Butchers
It was in 1985 that the fifth generation butchers, brothers Andrew and John Green, acquired a long-established butchers shop in Austhorpe Road, Crossgates run by Mrs. Sybil Wilson and Mr. Harold Lunn.
Sybil’s husband George founded the business in 1928, but died in his 40s, leaving Sybil at the helm supported by Harold, who had worked in the shop from school and eventually became a partner in the business. They ran the business until Sybil reached 84, when they handed over to the Greens. Sadly, Mrs. Wilson passed away only recently, having attained her milestone 100th birthday. Harold continues to visit the shop – both for his own meat and to see what John and Andrew are doing now!
Andrew Green recalls: “It was a first-class butchers shop, selling only meat. We continued as a specialist meat shop before opening an in-house bakery and introducing our own home-made pies about 18 months later. We haven’t looked back since. The bakery has grown since day one and is going forward all the time.”
Over the ensuing years, the business has developed and expanded beyond recognition. The main retail area was completely refitted and upgraded in 1991, followed by the installation of a brand-new delicatessen area and a cooked meats counter, which is all cooked on the premises.
A great deal of work has also taken place behind the scenes. Pie baking first started in the original house kitchen with burgeoning demand soon leading to the installation of a much larger baking area. Four years ago Wilsons acquired two neighbouring first floor rooms to further expand this side of the business, also installing a large walk-in fridge. The pie-making operation now takes over the entire first floor.
While Wilsons has always been noted for its range of quality traditional and innovative butchery products, it is the pie-making side of the operation that first brought fame to the business, including a host of prestigious award wins in meat industry competitions.
On average, Wilsons Butchers bakes an amazing 10,000 pork pies per week – a figure that’s certainly not pie in the sky! As well as the famous pork pies, Wilsons also bake a range of other mouthwatering pies and pasties, including their special Steak and Ale pies made with Timothy Taylor’s award winning Landlord ale, a winning combination!