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The company was, in addition, named ‘Regional Retail Winner for Northern Ireland” in the prestigious competition which attracted entries from across the UK.
Managing director of Cunningham’s, a fourth generation business, James Cunningham, commenting on the awards, says: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this hugely important award for our industry.
“We are the first butchers from Northern Ireland to win this UK award and only the third in Northern Ireland to ever win a UK Butcher of the Year title.
“It’s a marvellous endorsement of our commitment to providing exceptional services and superb products to customers in Kilkeel and further afield.
“We have invested extensively in local products and services to customers including sourcing from an extensive network of suppliers in county Down. We work closely with local suppliers in developing exceptional quality meat and other food products.
“It’s tremendous for us to be playing our part in putting Northern Ireland food in the spotlight,” he adds.
The awards were judged by a panel of experts from the world of speciality retail, fine food and food media, including Arthur Howell, fourth generation butcher and 2016 Farm Shop & Deli Awards Retailer of the Year; Jon May, managing director Fabulous Food & Drink, Megan Tatum, deputy features editor of The Grocer, and Holly Shackleton, editor of Speciality Food magazine.
Shortlisted entrants were chosen before the judges hit the road to secret–shop and observe undercover the award hopefuls.
The judges covered the length and breadth of the country to experience first–hand the enthusiasm, array of produce and customer satisfaction on offer in each of the shortlisted businesses.
Finally, after weeks of scrutiny and deliberation, the category and regional winners were selected.
Nigel Barden, chairman of judges and food and drink journalist and broadcaster, adds: “It’s a real privilege to acknowledge food and drink retailers of this quality and those looking after our online shopping requirements. These are passionate, enterprising, knowledgeable and diligent people.”
From a workforce of three in 2010, Cunningham’s has grown to employ 50 members of staff. The business was first established in 1919.
It has over 1,000 different products with all produce sourced from the family’s farm or purchased from local farmers and suppliers.
Cunningham’s has opened a bistro, fresh food hall and renovated its multi–award winning butchery. The butchers is one of only a handful of Northern Ireland stores that boasts a Himalayan Salt Chamber for dry–ageing beef.
With this expansion, the shop now also provides customers with fresh produce from a deli, hot food counter and bakery, and also makes its own homemade gelato ice–cream.Back to all news
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Cunningham’s Butchers and Food Hall in Northern Ireland has been named “UK Butchers Shop of the Year 2017” at a major event in Britain. The family–owned and managed business, which is based at Kilkeel in county Down, won the coveted title at the Farm Shop and Deli Awards in Birmingham this week.
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