Newton Aycliffe butcher delighted after business award nomination

·3-min read
A County Durham butcher has been left delighted after his business was&nbsp;nominated for a national award Credit: GLENN FLETCHER <i>(Image: Glenn Fletcher)</i>
A County Durham butcher has been left delighted after his business was nominated for a national award Credit: GLENN FLETCHER (Image: Glenn Fletcher)

A County Durham butcher has been left delighted after his business was nominated for a national award.

Thames Butchers in the Thames Centre in Newton Aycliffe has received a nomination in the 'Best Butchers in County Durham' category as part of the 2023 Englands Business Awards.

Owner of the butchers, Glenn Fletcher, 48, who runs the business alongside his brother, Earl, 43, came back to butchery on Christmas Day 2021, shortly after becoming a single parent.

Mr Fletcher, who previously worked in Red Star hotels in Scotland, Cheshire, and Yarm, said he and his brother were very "proud" to be shortlisted for the award and were happy their hard work had paid off.

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The Northern Echo: Glenn Fletcher (L), Earl Fletcher (R)
The Northern Echo: Glenn Fletcher (L), Earl Fletcher (R)

Glenn Fletcher (L), Earl Fletcher (R) (Image: Glenn Fletcher)

Speaking on the award and their business venture, Mr Fletcher said: "We decided to come out of the hotel business to kind of downsize, we've got young children and we wanted a better quality of life.

"Even though it's been hard, we have improved our quality of life and we are very passionate foodies, it's like your fruit's come to fruition.

"We're nothing without our customers of course, it's been hard work but it's been enjoyable. Two brothers working together is always an adventure.

"Whoever out there who has been nominating us, we're just so grateful.

"And to our regular customers, [who] like to come in every day, they're all important and we just wouldn't be here without these customers, so it's a big thank you to all of them

"They helped me and my brother establish our little business, growing and growing, from strength to strength."

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He said the business strives on purchasing local produce and ensures meat, jams, chutneys, preserves, eggs and other products are all sourced across County Durham, North Yorkshire and the North East.

Speaking on the challenges of running the butcher, he jokingly cites the cold mornings working at -9C with no option to use a heater as one of his least favourite aspects of the job.

Mr Fletcher adds that he and his brother overcome this with a kettle and a "smile on their face."

He said their shop works with local companies to source products and ingredients, such as Balefire in Shildon, honey from South Durham Honey, chutney made in Darlington, preserves made in Wensleydale, and eggs from Bishop Auckland.

Adding to this, he said the butcher gets their pork, beef and lamb from the auction mart between Newton Aycliffe and Darlington, which is then prepared at an abbatoir in Spennymoor.

He believes their success has been influenced by their experience working for blue chip hotels, helping teach them how to manage a business.

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Mr Fletcher said the regional awards ceremony will be taking place in the next few months in Newcastle.

He said while their business cannot compete with prices offered by supermarket chains, his business ensures they provide the highest quality local produce, and pointed to his butchers only selling Grade A chicken to their customers.

Englands Business Awards is an independent competition run across England's towns and cities with an annual Grand Final.