Bradwell butcher’s ultimate challenge

It could be regarded like entering a pasty competition in Cornwall or travelling to Scotland for a shortbread challenge.

Champion Norfolk butcher Andrew Edmonds was travelling to Newark this week for a national pie competition – taking on challengers from the traditional home of the pork pie, Melton Mowbray.

Mr Edmonds, 49, who has run Bradwell Butchery, in Crab Lane, Bradwell, since 1986, enters the competition – being held as part of Newark’s Cattle Christmas Show – buoyed by his recent triumph in the Meat Trade Journal-sponsored Butcher’s Shop of the Year Award for the Midlands and East of England.

He said: “I have done very well in pie competitions in this region so it will be interesting to try my luck in Melton Mowbray country. If all else fails, at least I’ll have some experts who I can ask for some tips.”

For the Butcher’s Shop of the Year award, Mr Edmonds was judged on everything from the quality of his meat to his involvement in the community, sponsoring such events as local flower shows.

Customers come from as far afield as Blofield, Scratby and Lowestoft and the shop has won a deserved reputation for its sausages.

Having recently invested �180,000 in the expansion of his business, taking on extra staff, he still has ambitious plans to use the upstairs of his premises for food preparation to allow him to extend the range of his home-made pies.

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He said: “It is hard to fight against the one-stop shop mentality but supermarkets can’t match us on quality and friendly service.”