Aubrey Allen shortlisted in Shop of the Year 2018

The Guild of Fine Food’s annual Shop of the Year awards, an accreditation which recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail, has announced its shortlist for 2018 and Aubrey Allen in Leamington Spa is among those in the running for the Best Delicatessen award. Having had its written entry reviewed by a panel of respected industry experts, Aubrey Allen will now undergo two further rounds of judging this summer, including an announced visit from one of the judges and a mystery shop by Shopper’s Anonymous.

Previously forming part of the Great Taste accreditation scheme, Shop of the Year has evolved to apply an even more rigorous and robust judging process dedicated solely to retail. Celebrating delis, farm shops, cheesemongers and more, Shop of the Year offers independent retailers a chance to achieve a stamp of approval with real integrity, much like Great Taste does for food and drink products.

From the overall shopping experience and financial performance to staff training opportunities and environmental initiatives, the panel of highly experienced judges, which includes Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, Stuart Gates, who has worked for both Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and Georgina Mason from Gonalston Farm Shop, will rate, score and feedback on every aspect of Aubrey Allen before agreeing on an overall category winner.

Simon Kelly, Shop Manager, says “it’s an honour to be on the shortlist for such a fantastic award and to be recognised for all of the hard work that the deli team put in. Everyone takes such pride in the products we sell, from the latest additions to the cheese shop to our chef-prepared meals and picnics and we can’t wait to see what happens at the awards ceremony in September!”

On Thursday 20 September, Shop of the Year 2018 will reach an exciting finale when the world of fine food gathers at No. 42 Southwark Street, the Guild of Fine Food’s London base, to find out the winners of Best Delicatessen; Best Farm Shop or Garden Centre with Food Hall; Best Grocer, Village or Community Shop; and Best Specialist Cheese Shop.

World champion Butchers coach local boy to “Seamless Success”

Local family Butchers, Aubrey Allen, have trained the next generation of award winning butchers.

Daniel Symes, 18 of Leamington Spa, made it to the final of the Premier Young Butcher competition organised by the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders and hosted by William Reed Business Media at Foodex, Birmingham NEC on Monday 16th April.

Ably coached by World Champion Butchers and mentors to Aubrey Allen apprentices, Martin Crombie and Michael Perkins, Dan faced a nerve-racking competition that lasted six hours and played out under the watchful eyes of judges and the public at the Foodex exhibition.

There were just seven butchers from around the country chosen to compete after being shortlisted and only one from Warwickshire all competing to take the title of Premier Young Butcher. Dan battled through to take first place in the seam butchery category and runner up in Stuffed roast category.

Dan was spurred on by the success and said “I really enjoyed it and I just want to get better and better at my craft. I am in awe of master butchers like Michael and Martin but I know I want to be like them one day and this has given me the confidence to go forward. I am delighted I won the craft Butchery section and was highly commended in the Stuffed Roast category. Next time I am determined to win the National Title”

Simon Kelly, Leamington Spa shop manager who was there to cheer him on and encourage said “We are all so proud of Dan – he was done amazingly well. He is a real asset to our team”

Dan joined Aubrey Allen in 2016 and was signed up to the Trailblazers Apprentice scheme.

Diamonds are a Butchers best friend!

Aubrey Allen, award-winning Leamington Butchers and Delicatessen, sparkle at national awards.

The awards, organised by the National body the Q Guild of Butchers who represent the independent butchers of quality in the country, were held on the 7th February 2018 at Stationer’s Hall in London.

Aubrey Allen spent time last November, creating product ideas to enter into the competition and received 10 medals – eight gold medals and two silver, but it was their chef-prepared meal of slow roasted lamb noisettes with celeriac mash that took the top Diamond award for Best Ready Meal and Best Lamb Product.

Gold awards were also received for the following products:

Free range chicken supreme with wild woodland mushroom and truffle butter

Leicestershire melt sausage

Chicken & Mushroom pie (chef-prepared meal)

Chicken Supreme with jalapeno & ginger cream cheese

Parmesan herb crumb tomahawk

Free range chicken breast with gorgonzola and black truffle

Iberico sweet cure back bacon

There is a chance to sample these delicious products during the Aubrey Allen Spring Collection launch on 9th and 10th March and samples will be going to Aubrey’s 12 – a selection of specially chosen loyalty clients who get to be the first on the tasting panel for Aubrey Allen over a period of 12 weeks.

The Diamond award-winning meal is currently available to purchase in the shop.

Simon Kelly, shop manager, said “we are absolutely thrilled to have won so many medals this year, but to take the Diamond for our Cornish lamb is fantastic. We really put so much passion into it and in fact even have a bit of an internal competition with each other. Some of these products will be re produced at special butchery schools that we will be running later in the year”

Leamington Shop voted Midland and East’s best!

Aubrey Allen entered the Meat Trades Journal Butchers Shop of the Year awards with an online entry outlining recent successes and future plans as well as highlighting community involvement and team education. An experienced industry judge comes and inspects the shop, looking for innovation as well as outstanding practices. Simon Kelly, the shop Manager said “I am so pleased for my team that they have received this prestigious industry award. We are thrilled this year to have won a number of wider business awards but to be recognised by your peers as a leading light in the industry is very special. We will be celebrating in the shop Aubrey Allen style – with lots of delicious tasters from our cheese counter and chef prepared meals as well as our ever popular sausages!”

Supporting local charities – Leamington Winter Support

Social and corporate responsibility documents can be dusty old documents that people draft to tick boxes; or they can be, as we believe they should be, guidelines for good business practice and a way of life that your team understand as well as your own values.

Every week we supply dinners for Leamington Winter Support Shelter prepared by Andy, our chef, using the best ingredients to provide great nutritional meals; being homeless doesn’t mean being at the bottom of the pile and we should all be humbled by the stories and the all too true fact that most people are only 3 payslips away from the streets.

We love to get involved in charitable events and usually select 3 local charities in the year to support. We select volunteer-only based charities who make such a difference and are run in our local area. In addition we support several Christmas charities by providing food for Christmas day for the homeless, lonely or elderly. It makes sense for us to provide practical help where we can, putting our lovely products and staff skills to good use.

In addition we have weekly requests for raffle prizes or support and we always help where we are able to. We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our great teams who happily get involved and have volunteered at events as well.

If you would like to help LWS please see their wishlist here

Butcher owned steakhouse and bistro named Best Restaurant!

Oscar’s, in Chandos Street Leamington Spa, won the coveted award at the Coventry and Warwickshire Tourism and Culture Awards sponsored by Touch FM and held at Coombe Abbey on Thursday 21stSeptember.

Oscar’s has been owned and operated by local family business Aubrey Allen for over 15 years and the team are thrilled with the award. Russell Allen, Managing Director said “We are so pleased that Oscar’s has gained this recognition from the independent judges . As an independent restaurant you are always having to make sure you do something different from the large chains and remain attractive to both loyal and new clients. We have a strong focus on wonderful dry aged steaks but we are also popular for fish and our Tuesday night fixed price menu .”

Sarah Russell who organises Retail Marketing said “ We are making sure we celebrate with our loyalty clients and they will receive a free glass of French Fizz when they show their card when they dine with us in the next 2 weeks . We also have some special menus coming up to celebrate such as the Beef Celebration night and ever popular annual Bordeaux evening . Pascal and Martyn, our front of house and chef, are so happy as well”.

Britain’s Best! Aubrey Allen wins big at Industry Awards

We were delighted to have received not one, but two, wonderful accolades at the Meat Management Awards in London last month.
Beating the competition to be crowned Britain’s Best Butchers Shop, manager Simon said ‘…it’s a fantastic achievement and one that has made us very proud of our hard work and dedication to providing the very best products and the best customer service. We’re absolutely delighted.’

Coming away with Britain’s Best Lamb product for his Lamb cutlet with parmesan and herb crust, Creative Butcher Martin has proved again why he is considered on of the best Butchers in the UK and happily adds another title to his achievements.

Well done team!

Butcher’s Hook at the Baftas

Award winning Food Hall, Aubrey Allen of Warwick street Leamington Spa have once again scooped prizes equivalent to the Bafta’s in the Butchery Industry.

The Q Guild Smithfield awards, named after the famous City of London meat market, run every year when Butchers the length and breadth of the country are challenged to enter their best products and judged by the top tasters in the industry.

Aubrey Allen were awarded Gold for the follwoing products – Chef prepared Beef Bourguignon & Garlic Mash, Guinea Fowl Supreme with wild mushroom & thyme, Garlic Mountain Melt and Pork Chocolate Orange Sausage.

Martin Crombie, head of product development said “We are so pleased to have won.The lads work hard at coming up with ideas and then spend time perfecting them so it is splendid to be recognised . We will of course be showcasing these in our shop and celebrating with tasters for our clients”

The steaks are high at Aubrey Allen!

Britain’s passion for dry-aged beef, and the demand by ‘MasterChef’ wannabes for high quality ingredients, has inspired two local master butchers from Leamington Spa to create two new national award winning sirloin steak cuts for fine dining, either in or out of the home.

Martin Crombie and Nick Clayton-Gale from Aubrey Allen’s butcher’s shop in Leamington Spa have both won Eblex Quality Standard Mark Excellence Awards this week in London for England’s Best Innovative Steak and England’s Best Sirloin Steak with their ‘One Bone Sirloin Noisette’ and ‘Sirloin Pavé’.

The noisette cut developed by Martin Crombie reflects an innovative larder trimmed product using the wing end of the sirloin and is already proving a popular choice amongst customers for dinner parties. The pavé in contrast by Nick Clayton-Gale uses the back-end of the sirloin, is larder trimmed in a circular shape and served with a Café de Paris sauce to create a restaurant quality dish that is equally easy to cook at home.

Commenting on the new one bone sirloin noisette, Martin Crombie said that the reason behind inventing this cut was to provide a 6oz – 7oz size sirloin steak for diners who prefer their meat cooked ‘rare’ or ‘blue’. Nick Clayton-Gale added that his sirloin pavé provided a restaurant style prepared product in a raw form.

Aubury Allen’s butchers are the first winners of these inaugural Eblex awards, which have been launched to showcase both the creative and technical skills of independent butchers, farm shops and foodservice operators throughout England.

Aubrey’s Dry Aged beef is sourced from naturally reared, grass-fed suckler herds that have been allowed to develop slowly. It is then matured for a minimum of 21 days to intensify the flavour and encourage the natural tenderisation that occurs during that period.

Aubrey Allen is a family owned butchery business established over 80 years ago, with a reputation for supplying quality meat. As well as operating a successful retail outlet, Aubrey Allen is a well-respected catering butcher supplying over 400 restaurants and pubs throughout the UK.

Aubrey Allen opens new café site

We are delighted to announce that we have expanded into food to go with the launch of Aubrey Allez – a café and takeaway outlet next door to the butcher’s shop and delicatessen.
The newly-expanded shop in Leamington Spa provides fresh fast food and drinks that can be eaten in or taken away.
Speaking to the Coventry Telegraph, managing director Russell Allen said: “We are passionate about great food and healthy eating and whilst we want to deliver fresh food fast, all the emphasis is on great ingredients and ‘cooked from fresh’ hot dinners. We have been thrilled with the feedback so far.”
The shop features Aubrey Allen’s signature pre-packed sandwiches and an extensive salad bar. There are also breakfast and hot meal options. Among the products available to eat in or take away is a steak sandwich which highlights the brand’s heritage.
“For us as a family, it has definitely been a reflection back to Aubrey, my granddad, and the heritage of the business and we have created a steak sandwich in his honour – named after his nickname: the Gaffer.”