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Dunblane butchers celebrate national success
Staff at a Dunblane butchers shop are proudly celebrating the national success of one of their team was this week named Young Butcher of the Year.
Twenty-two year old Stewart McClymont, a butcher at David Bennett and Son, lifted the national award in the competition run by the Meat Trades Journal.
Stewart, one of an all-Scotland trio of finalists in the competition, was presented with his award at a ceremony in London.
Entrants for the Young Butcher of the Year were particularly strong this year, with all three candidates impressing judges with their skill and drive. Runners-up were Gary Raeburn of Forbes Raeburn & Sons, Huntly and Grant McClusky of Shaw’s Fine Foods, Lauder.
On his return from collecting the award in London Stewart found the shop window in Dunblane’s High Street bedecked in banners and balloons to celebrate his success.
Customers are also joining in the congratulations at the busy premises where Stewart started his career, aged 14, as a Saturday “washer-uper”.
Stewart, who joined Bennets full-time as an apprentice aged 17, said he was delighted with the win and had absolutely no regrets about his choice of career.
“I really enjoy the close contact with the public and the opportunity to play a part in developing new products such as our sausage range which has lots of variety from steak and black pudding sausages to Highland sausages.”
In 2007 Stewart won the Meat Training Council’s award for the Scottish Apprentice of the Year. “I would encourage others to consider this career. When I started out I had no idea about all the different avenues which would open up and the range of people I would meet,” he added.
June Lomax, Independent Retailers Manager for QMS said: "It’s a great achievement by Stuart and should enable him to firmly make his mark on the UK butcher industry.
"It’s a credit to the butchery industry in Scotland that we’ve had such a strong showing at this year’s awards. It’s good to see shops that invest in bringing up the skills of the next generation of Scottish butchers.”
The Butchers Shop of the Year Scottish Regional prize for high street shops is sponsored by The Scotch Butchers Club. The Club, managed by Quality Meat Scotland, offers butchers who source Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork top quality marketing material, giving their customers assurances that they source premium meat produced in Scotland.
This year’s award was won by Simon Howie of Perth. The other finalists were Davidsons Specialist Butchers, Inverurie and S. Collins and Son from Muirhead in Glasgow.
For more information about The Scotch Butchers Club, visit www.scotchbutchersclub.org.