McArdle Meats Butchers strike Gold at Awards

October 28, 2013

The winners of the recent All-Ireland Artisan Butchers Awards were announced at an event in the Bank Bar, Newry on Tuesday last.

Among the successes is local butchers McArdle Meats, who have premises in Culloville and in the Marshes and Clanbrassil Street, Dundalk.

Keith Short, who owns the three branches of McArdle Meats, picked up 9 Gold Awards in total. He says the Sunday roast is still his most popular product but a McArdle Meats roast comes in a cook-in bag with a pop-up timer.

Barry Knox, Chairman of the Elite Butchers Association says the Awards are all about showcasing the skills of the small, independent butcher.

“We knew that we were good at coming up with great products, but our members were finding it difficult to get recognition for that, so that’s why we came up with the idea of the all-island Awards,” he said.

“We are tradesmen in all things meaty. We face stiff competition from the supermarkets but more and more people are starting to shop locally again. We have the advantage in that we are able to offer a personalised service. We can do any cut of meat you want and unlike the supermarkets, we have time to work on special recipes.

“People still want convenience though, and these days, a large part of our business is in creating our version of ready meals; stuff that’s ready to cook and will be on the table in half an hour. The difference is that you will know exactly what is in that dish and where it came from. They’re what we call “meal solutions” but there’s still very much a place for the Sunday roast too.”

The All-Ireland Artisan Butchers Awards are now in their second year and a total of 17 butchers put forward three products each for judging at CAFRE on October 9th with winners announced at the Bank Bar on Tuesday last.