The Butcher and the Baker in Allerton Bywater has ended a difficult year on a high-note, after being awarded the 2021 Good Food gong for its “exceptional levels of food quality, service and value”.
Co-owners Heather Gilbert and Paul Alderman set up the shop two years ago after combining their sweet and savoury baking businesses following a meeting at a farmers’ market in 2016.
The shop has built a glowing reputation for its locally sourced products, which include pickles, oils, bread, cakes and home-baked pies as well as the butcher’s fare on offer.
And after seeing demand for online orders soar during lockdown, they have responded to customer demand by setting up a website, allowing customers to book their favourites in advance if they are unable to come into the store.
“We’ve only had the site live for a few weeks and there’s lots still to add, but already people have been making reservations and it just lets people who maybe can’t come into the shop, or are nervous about queuing, to just have another option.
“There are things that we can’t add to the website, like a lot of the specials we do – we like to try something new every week, whether it’s a type of cake or a different kind of sausage, and our customers are always interested to see what we have.”
They have also won a slew of awards, including Class Champion and Highly Commended at the 2019 British Pie Awards for Paul’s Steak and Ale (in a wholegrain mustard pastry) pie and Minty Lamb Hotpot Pie creations – something Paul says has a lot to do with where they get their produce from.
“We are all about Yorkshire provenance, sourcing locally, and getting the very best Yorkshire produce to use in our pies and to make sure customers know where their meat is come in from, which is something people care a lot about,” he says.
“I don’t think we would have picked up so many awards without our incredible suppliers, who are all about animal welfare and good responsible farming.”
Suppliers include Rawdon-based John Penny and Sons and the family-run Woodlands of Pudsey, who provide the beef, pork and lamb which has proven a hit with customers.
And while the website may be a work in progress – with much of their huge range of products still to be added – the website has already proved a hit with customers keen to source the very best produce for Christmas, from hand-made pigs in blankets juicy turkey crowns, their speciality pies and choice cuts of pork and lamb.
As with many butchers the couple has seen a slight shift towards smaller birds and different types of roast as families prepare for what is likely to be a very different Christmas, with far smaller crowds around the dinner table.
There is still a huge appetite for the traditional Christmas dinner though – and anyone looking to get their turkey from The Butcher and the Baker should get in quick, with a final order date of December 15.
“It’s been incredibly busy already with people ordering and turkeys are again by far the biggest order,” says Heather. “Because we have built up a reputation for our pork and lamb we have had a lot of orders for that as well, as not everyone likes turkey.
“The cut-off date is because we need to order the birds, and you need to ensure everyone can get theirs in time, as you wouldn’t want anyone to miss out!”
To find out more about the full range of Christmas goodies available, visit the website today at https://thebutcherandthebaker.co.uk.