Butcher of the Month
G Simpson Butchers Ltd
In 2001 at the tender age of 20, Gary Simpson, with no family history of the butchery trade, opened his first butchers shop in Heckington. Gary's aim from day one was to supply only the very best quality, farm assured produce at great value and full traceability to sell on to his valued customers with full confidence. Simpsons Butchers buy from local farmers and producers wherever possible, supporting the local economy and keeping food miles low.
With this dedication and passion, Simpsons reputation soon soared and with the support of an ever increasing loyal customer base, Gary was soon able to open another store at Four Seasons Garden Centre, Sleaford, and during 2014 opened three more stores in Lincoln, Stamford and Spalding.
Over the years Simpsons have picked up many awards including Midlands and East of England Butcher Shop of the Year 2013/14, which was successfully defended for 2014/15, giving Simpsons 'the double' for their flagship Heckington store. More recently, Simpsons were invited to join the Q Guild, an elite collection of butchers, from all corners of the UK, who all pride their businesses on the exacting standards customers of Simpsons Butchers have come to expect over the years.
All of the staff at Simpsons Butchers have been trained to Gary's high standards and all share his passion and enthusiasm for their work. Nothing is too much trouble and Gary or any one of his dedicated team are always on hand to offer helpful advice and suggestions to make your shopping experience at Simpsons Butchers even more enjoyable.
How did you become involved in the Meat Industry? (...continued)
I was 15 at the time of leaving school and started my first job in a butchers shop, little did I know where the journey was going to take me. It was around a year later that shop closed due to the breakout of BSE again in 1996. Needing money and a job I went to work in a meat factory for 5 months before finding another job at a butchers shop, I was there for around 15 months before moving on to another company who supplied the restaurant/hotel trade. Another 18 months went by and this is when I decided to go it alone and start my own business. I had approached the owner of the shop where I had first started as the premises were standing empty to see if I could work from the back preparation area that he used to have, he agreed and that was it, as soon as it was sorted out I left my workplace and started working for myself with the objective of supplying restaurants/hotels etc.. at this point no shop was involved. It proved to be harder than I anticipated to get a foot in the door of some establishments and at 20 years old I had several knockbacks which could have made me just think ok maybe this isn’t meant to be but instead it made me even more determined to succeed. Slowly I started to build a good portfolio of establishments up and we still supply some of these to this day.
It would be around a year later when I heard of a shop a couple of miles away that was coming up for sale, I showed an interest and designed a business plan for the bank to try and get a mortgage for it as it had living accommodation with it also, at first they just refused but I was determined to get it and kept going back to them to show how I could do it. There hasn’t been any butchering history in my family or any financial help from them too so when the bank finally agreed to lend me the money it was an unbelievable feeling. It would be in November 2001 when I first bought the shop in Heckington. A baptism of fire to say the least as I was there on my own it was probably the next 2 years which has built the platform of the business as it stands now. The Heckington store has now had 3 complete re-fits since then and has won MTJ Midlands and East of England Butchers Shop of the year 2013, 2014 and 2015 along with the ultimate accolade of winning Britains Best Butchers Shop 2015. We now have 6 stores spread across Lincolnshire with a comprehensive online store where we deliver nationwide too. We employ 36 full time staff at present but are on the lookout for at least 6 more.