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Have a BBQ Butchers - Day 3

During National Butchers Week we are highlighting butchers with a love of barbecue. These butchers know all about meat over fire. Today we profile Simpsons in Lincolnshire and Farmer Copleys in West Yorkshire.

 Rupert Bates   Spring 2021

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Gary Simpson started as a butcher aged just 20. He bought his first butcher’s shop in Heckington, Lincolnshire in 2001 and now has six across the country, twice winning Britain’s Best Butcher’s shop in the last six years.

“Our beliefs have always been, if you buy the best quality meat available you cannot go far wrong. Provenance and quality of farms are a key component too. If you are buying from suppliers with the same beliefs it makes business much easier. We pride ourselves on service and will do everything we can to make sure customers go away happy and return on a regular basis,” says Gary Simpson.

While burgers, sausages, kebabs and spare ribs remain staple BBQ diets. Simpson has since a huge rise in the popularity of smokers, where a bit more cooking skill is required.

“Sales of flat briskets, beef short ribs, flank steaks and bone-in shoulders of pork, are increasing massively year. Bigger pieces of meat that need slower cooking on grills are superb if done correctly,” says Simpson, with his favourite a rib-eye joint with plenty of fat for extra flavour.

Twitter: @simpsonbutchers


This farm shop near Pontefract, West Yorkshire is run by Robert and Heather Copley. It started in 2003 with the shop producing and butchering its own Aberdeen Angus x Black Limousin heifer beef, all grass fed and matured for 21 days minimum.



The shop has since grown to include a delicatessen, a bakery, the Moo café and events space.

“But the butchery still forms the backbone of the business. Due to demand we now partner with local Yorkshire farmers, keeping the same standards and quality to supply the butchery. We have a small team of highly skilled dedicated butchers headed up by Craig Roberts,” says Heather Copley.

“The butchery has seen a big step change during the pandemic with footfall increasing massively, coupled with the change in consumer patterns. Many people have had the time to learn to cook again, be it in the kitchen or in the garden and we believe BBQ entertaining with friends and family will be huge this year. We’ve already got local log charcoal on sale in the farm shop and are seeing an increase in BBQ butchery items, bread buns last weekend when the weather was glorious.”

Robert Copley believes passionately is simple, grass-fed slow meat and total respect for the animal. “Our standards have never been compromised and drives people to visit and use the butchery. The values are key to everything we do as a business, reflected in the atmosphere, the customer service and the customers themselves.”

Drive-throughs, takeaways, ‘Covid-safe’ shopping, deliveries and e-commerce; it has been a very different year for the farm shop, but with serving the local community underpinning everything Copleys does.

Copleys Spring hit for the barbecue is set to be its king ribs, with a homemade honey and herb dressing. While the Kofta kebabs with dip are likely to fly out the door too.

On the family grill, Heather Copley would go for a slow-roasted leg of lamb over wood, with a ‘Yorkshire twist’ on a Greek salad, using fine fettle cheese and new season potatoes.

For further information:

BBQ magazine: Rupert Bates.






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