Family butchers' firm crowned Norfolk 'food hero' at Aylsham Show
PUBLISHED: 11:36 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:49 28 August 2018
A family butchery firm which enthusiastically champions Norfolk farm produce was awarded the top “food hero” prize at the Aylsham Show.
HV Graves, based in the village of Briston near Holt, was named the overall winner in the Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards, run by the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association, after also claiming the title of Best Specialist Food or Drink Supplier.
As well as its butchers’ shop, the Graves family runs regular hog roasts and other catering services, and also breeds its own herd of cattle, which includes 29 pedigree Aberdeen Angus breeding cows – one of which was a prize-winner at Monday’s show at the Blickling estate.
Any extra meat required is sourced as locally as possible, including lambs from a farm in the same village.
Vicky Graves-Basham, who has been working with the family firm for 10 years, said that traceability and local food provenance has become increasingly important to customers.
“I find now there are more and more people who are more aware of where their food comes from, and they want to know where we get our meat,” she said. “We get asked that question more now than we ever did before. When we do hog roasts we get asked the breed of pig, and where it came from, and is it local?
“We pride ourselves on using local farmers and it has paid off today. It is really lovely for it to nominated by the public, as we wouldn’t be here without our customers.”
Bradley Graves, one of six members of his family working for the firm, added: “We didn’t expect to win. It is nice to be recognised for what you do.”
The show’s Individual Food Hero Award was presented to Spixworth vegetable grower Peter Ward. Show president Michael Gamble, who judged the award, said: “He is a traditional market gardener who grows all his stock from seed.
“He is a great supporter of farmers’ markets, and he is never happier than when he is teaching other people how to grow vegetables. Despite the competition from supermarkets, large agri-businesses and imports, he soldiers on. He is an unsung hero.”
Other category winners were:
• Best Use of Norfolk Produce on Menu: Market Bistro, King’s Lynn.
• Best Food or Drink Retailer: White House Farm, Sprowston.
• Best New Food or Drink Venture: The Brisley Bell.