The Five-star Landmark London Hotel was the venue for this year’s Butcher of the year awards which took place on Thursday 22nd November 2012.
Butchers Shop of the Year awards is an annual competition organised by trade magazine the Meat Trades Journal and William Reed Business Media to find the UK’s best butcher and farm shop businesses, with the winner in each region going head to head.
This year’s UK Halal Butcher’s Shop of the Year Award category was the strongest ever which was won by Mullaco of Batley.
The category for halal butcher shops was introduced three years ago in recognition of the important role halal butchers play in the UK meat industry.
The Awards not only judges meat quality and how it is displayed in the shop but how the business as a whole is being developed, how it is marketed, and its relationship with suppliers and the local community.
One of the Judges of the Award, Fred A’Court said that he was impressed with the professionalism and the enthusiasm of the Halal butchers who made the final of this year’s Awards. Of the winning shop, Mullaco of Batley, West Yorkshire, he said: “Butchery manager Anwar Mulla has greatly widened the customer base of Mullaco Batley by improving the cutting of meat and its display. As well as appealing to Indian, Pakistani, Arab, Polish and some English customers the new approach has attracted younger customers too.
“All meat is neatly trimmed and displayed on black trays with informative ticketing. The new approach has been particularly beneficial for beef sales with beef on the bone and beef tongue selling well. Mixed lamb, lamb pooth, chicken breast and whole chicken are also good sellers.”
An average 1,000 customers a day visit the shop, which is open seven days a week from 8am until 8pm. Owner Yousuf Mulla says customers travel from as far away as York, Doncaster and Sheffield.”
Yousuf Mulla of Mullaco Batley commented of his delight of winning this prestigious Award he said “To achieve such an award is truly an honour as it recognises the fact that we’re doing something right, and this has only been achieved by the Will of God, dedicated staff, and good quality meat and not to forget our loyal customers.”
“Being just nominated for this award was a privilege and then to be picked as the best halal butchers in the country is really special, this is a great challenge, especially with so many similar businesses in this field, we want to make sure that winning the award our services gets even better, we will work and prove to all our old and new clientele that we are what we have been claimed to be.”
“Our quality standard service continues towards improving ourselves, broadening our products in the fresh meat category, freshly made tasty sausages, really good quality burgers and the list goes on, so thank you all for the past 39 years for all your support and God-Willing we hope to serve you all for many years to come.”
The other halal finalists were Quality Meats, Manchester and S&S Halal Meat and Grocers, Southall, Middlesex.
The Awards are approved by UK Government meat industry.
In 2009 Mullaco.com was set up for mainly extending the reach across the UK our grocery products.
It was then we thought that why not put some meat to sell on-line. Well, we were shocked at the response and overnight we had to do extensive research into the exact technicalities of selling and sending meat parcels by post. It was also just our luck that at that point there was a food exhibition and we got some good tips and contacts with packaging companies.
To date, on the internet side, we sell more fresh Halaal meat than groceries. And when we tell some people in the trade this fact they are also quite surprised. On a recent visit to a food expo this year I met Dick Van Leeuwen from Eblex and he was also quite surprised at the change in taste of British Muslims for Halaal beef and in particular for the more select cuts of Strip loin, Fillet steaks, T-Bone, Rump, Rib-eye and not forgetting for the real connoisseurs “aged beef”. We are proud to be very exclusive in offering aged beef with a minimum of 21 days maturing. Overall, our beef sales are increasing year-on-year by 30% and proudly promote our beef as British.
Mullaco.com has got hundreds of regular on-line customers who purchase meat and poultry through the automated payment website. The website is managed by a local website firm. We have employed a dedicated IT staff part-time to iron out any on-going technical issues that are usually encountered by people shopping on-line and to make shopping hassle-free. We have also one full-time dedicated staff handling on-line orders and customer services.
Our butcher department, other than supplying the local public, we have loyal and regular customers who travel from York, Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Leeds, etc. This is not because there are no other Halaal meat shops in their area, but mainly because of the reputation we have nurtured on solid business practices – good quality meat, right price and friendly service. Meat is supplied to local schools, quality restaurants and caterers.
Mullaco was the very first business to get HMC (Halaal Monitoring Committee) certified in Yorkshire. We were very excited by this certification as it gave some credibility to our butchers department what we were longing for quite some time.
As you are well aware, the cuts of meat enjoyed by Asians is quite different to English meat consumers, and so keeping this in mind we have to keep our customers happy, however we still are pushing hard new innovative types of cuts which may appeal to the Asian consumer.
This is more evident in Beef sales where we now stock all the prime beef cuts. Another big aspect during the warmer months is barbeques. We really have made good in-roads in this field. Packs of ready-marinated poultry, steaks and fresh burgers are stocked up on weekends and bank holidays. Ready to cook Chicken Chapli kebabs are a best seller. Coatings are purchased from Gordon Rhodes and we also make our own marinades. Packs of marinated meat and poultry for BBQ’s are made shrink-wrapped ready for customers to just pick and go.