Starbeck butchers named as one of Britain’s best

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The Financial Times has named a Starbeck butchers as one of Britains best butchers.

Elite Meat owned by Gordan Atkinson was chosen as one of only five ‘Best of’ butchers in the UK because of it’s top-class meat and inventive own-made products.

Mr Atkinson said he was delighted when he heard the news.

“It was a busy Saturday and the shop was full of customers, I was just getting the pies put in the oven when the phone rang and I was told the news.

“It put a spring in my step for the rest of the day.”

Five butchers were shortlisted by the Financal Times, and Elite Meat is the only one in the North of England.

Mr Atkinson said: “The nearest after us is Leamington Spa or Edinburgh, which is mad because Yorkshire has the best meat.

“At the shows and fairs I go to meat from Yorkshire is always voted as the best.”

Mr Atkinson added: “All of the other winners are second or third generation butchers, whereas we have only been in 14 years, which in this industry is brand new.

“My daughter is involved in the business now so we will become a second generation business in the future.”

When asked how he got into the trade Mr Atkinson said: “I had wanted to be an engineer but the career advisor at school said I was too thick!

“I had grown up on farm and worked part time in a butchers so it went from there.”

The 14-year-old business has developed over the years and now has an in-house bakery making pies and bread.

Mr Atkinson said: “The pies were an instantaneous hit when we first started, we sold three weeks worth in the first three days.

“The bread took a few attempts to get the hang of it but we managed it.

“We do all kinds of bread, including one made with just flour, water and salt.

“The sandwiches are popular too, even vegetarians come to get sandwiches from us as the breads so good.”

Mr Atkinson said Elite Meat takes a simplistic approach to their food.

“All of our meat is traceable which is so important to people since the horse meat scandal, people are taking a more keen interest in where their food comes from.

“Living in Yorkshire makes me realise we have the best farmers and that is what makes the meat so good.

“You don’t need marinades, the meat from round here is such good quality it speaks for itself.”

He added: “I couldn’t manage without my loyal customers and my staff.

“I’ve got a great team here.”