Pork pie sales have soared by 50% at Wilsons Butchers in Crossgates,
Leeds following the shop’s supreme championship winning success in this
year’s 13th annual charity pork pie competition staged by The Pork Pie
Appreciation Society at the Old Bridge Inn, Ripponden, on Saturday,
April 9. Wilsons success in the competition also achieved widespread
publicity in local and regional newspaper and broadcast media,
including personal appearances for the owners, brothers Andrew and John
Green, on both BBC Look North and YTV Calendar.
Mind you, the duo were quick to take up the initiative, personally
delivering batches of their championship pies to the media, who were
highly appreciative of the gesture.
John explains: “We have also had enquiries from further afield. A cafe
from Wakefield wanted us to deliver, while a man from Liverpool who
works near Skipton asked us to post him some of our award winning pies.
“Winning The Pork Pie Appreciation Society competition has certainly
boosted our profile considerably and our sales!
It was third time lucky in 2005 for Wilsons Butchers, based in
Austhorpe Road , Crossgates, who had finished runners up in the
competition for the previous two years.
Fourth generation butchers, Andrew and John Green, have made remarkable
progress since taking over at in Crossgates in 1985.
Expansion, diversification and a true commitment to their chosen trade,
backed by a skilled and experienced team both in the shop and behind
the scenes, have seen Wilsons become one of the best known and most
successful butchers in the whole region.
Andrew Green recalls: “In the early days, we operated as a specialist
meat shop, before opening an in house bakery and introducing our own
home made pies. We haven’t looked back since. The bakery has grown
since day one and is going forward all the time.”
Over the ensuing years, the business has developed beyond recognition.
The main retail area was completely refitted and upgraded in 1991.
Behind the scenes, a great deal of work has also taken place. Pie
baking first started in an original house kitchen, with burgeoning
demand soon leading to the installation of a much larger baking area.
Some five years ago, acquired two neighbouring first floor rooms to
further expand the bakery.
The pie making operation now takes over the entire first floor area and
it is this side of the operation that has brought fame to the business.
Today, on average, Wilsons bakes an amazing 10,000 plus pies and
related products per week. These include award winning small pork pies,
large pork pies, steak pies, chicken and mushroom pies, sausage rolls
and Cornish pasties.
All meat is cooked on the premises and, wherever possible, Wilsons
Butchers attempts to source all its meat from established, reputable
local producers. The shop has cemented innovative “Gate to Plate”
partnerships with local farmers, so ensuring complete control over the
entire process backed by the supply of only the very best quality,
fully traceable meat products.
Wilsons Butchers has been a member of the Guild of Q Butchers from soon
after the industry leading body was first established in 1990.
The Guild is an association of independent meat retailers committed to
offering top quality meat and meat related products, with customer
service to match. High standards of hygiene, food safety and risk
assessment are essential criteria for membership, with independent
inspections carried out at all member shops.
has picked up many other awards for its products in regional and
national meat trades competitions over the years, twice winning the
small pork pie category in the Great Yorkshire Pork Pie, Sausage &
Black Pudding Competition.
The shop also clinched the overall title at the Guild of Q Butchers
National Barbecue Championships in 2003 with its Pork and Apple
Turnover, a pork loin steak filled with a slice of Bramley apple and
caramelised onion, coated in a fruity sauce. In 2004, the shop was
presented with an award for outstanding services to the great British
banger during British Sausage Appreciation Week. publishes a bi annual
customer newsletter “Wilsons World of Fine Food,” which has done a
great deal to promote the business.