We are celebrating National Butchers Week by catching up with Tom Wood, Artisan Butcher. Discussing how he started his career, how he influences the next generation and how his customer relations grow from strength to strength.
Ever since being a young boy, I was fortunate enough to have been brought up on the family farm and through our family wholesale business Bowland Foods Ltd. My butchering career, started as an apprentice at George Alpes in Clitheroe.
I became captain of the British beefeaters after competing in the team already over in New Zealand and Australia. I was vice captain before I was made captain to compete in Ireland against 12 other countries, unfortunately I stepped down as captain, due to the online growth, but would have captained the team in Sacramento this year.
I try to influence the next generation through my passion for the trade. I am a qualified vocational assessor and have my own apprentice’s within the business. I also have a big following through social media and try to be creative and show people and fellow young butchers my passion, which I receive quite good feedback through all social media platforms.
There are more and more females coming into our trade. I know quite a few worldwide having travelled and competed, its certainly not a trade to be afraid of anymore by females as butchers now offer a wide array of products from, oven ready meals, pies, charcuterie plus much more.
People are more interested in the province of their food. I’m quite fortunate with my upbringing and my connections through the farming community, I have a strong customer base and they know where their food comes from and what I am about.
I created our online store just over a year ago to offer a service to my loyal customers from a previous job, who couldn’t get to where I had moved to. They now use the online service, however it has proved rather popular and we now distribute nationwide.
I feel I have a strong relationship with my customers, as I have over 50,000 followers across all social media. They message me with questions or requests to add products to our site, which I always take on board as it’s all about giving the consumer what they desire.
My favourite cut of meat would have to be roast rib of beef. For the reason of, when working on the farm in winter, my mum would have it ready on a Sunday with a layer of mustard on top, delicious!