An Edzell and Montrose butcher has had its steak and sausage pies judged among the best in Scotland.
Bel’s Butcher’s tasty favourites have scooped a coveted Gold Award in the Scottish Craft Butchers Savoury Pastry Products Awards 2017.
The company also secured a Silver Award for both their sausage rolls and their chicken and sweetcorn pies.
Delighted owner Bel Forbes said she was “thrilled” to be recognised. She commented: “To be recognised in this industry quality evaluation is a great boost for our whole team.
“We work hard at creating the very best products and everyone is involved in developing and taste testing all new ideas.”
Former nurse Bel bought over the butcher’s shop in Edzell in 2007 intending to turn it into a cake shop and café.
She explained: “I was persuaded to keep it as a butchers and while I get involved in the recipes, cooking and front-of- house shop work, I leave all the clever butchery skills to my expert team.”
Bel expanded the business when she took on a second shop in Montrose in 2014 and now employs 23 of a staff.
She added: “There’s still a place for the local community butcher but you have to work hard and fight your corner against the supermarkets.
“That’s why recognition by a respected industry body such as Scottish Craft Butchers is so important as they are dedicated to rewarding quality.”
Bel’s Butcher was one of around 60 butchers from all over Scotland who collectively submitted nearly 300 different handcrafted pies, sausage rolls and bridies which were judged across six categories in one of the industry’s most keenly contested awards.
Douglas Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Craft Butchers, said this year’s standard of entry had raised the bar for the industry awards.
He said: “Customers are demanding top quality and an ever-increasing range of outstanding products and Scottish butchers like Bel’s are leading the way with outstanding products made to their own recipes on their own premises.
“Her steak and sausage pies were judged to be among the very best you can buy in your local Scottish butchers and we’re delighted they’ve secured a Gold Award from their industry.
“These awards show customers just what a high standard their local butcher sets.”