We’re proud to welcome our new Head Butcher, Colin Robinson, to Weetons. He brings with him the accolades of being James Martin’s butcher of choice, as well as runner up to Butcher of the Year, and we’re looking forward to his exciting plans for in-house curing of bacon and ham!
We caught up with him in between shifts to find out more about his butchery background and his plans for Weetons.
- Tell us a bit about your background
I was raised on my parents’ farm in Nidderdale, so I have been involved with animal breeding and raising all my life.
At sixteen I joined a well-known Pateley Bridge butchers and attended Thomas Danby College in Leeds where I studied for The Institute of Meat Affiliateship qualification (which I passed with honours, gaining 3rd place out of every student in the country. This resulted in a trip to The House of Lords for the presentation of the award.)
I went on to complete the Institute of Meat Associateship level. Whilst at college I was part of the College competition butchery team. I entered many butchery competitions and won awards for my skills, including runner up in The Young Butcher of The Year.
In February 1998 I bought a butchers shop in Grassington near Skipton. The industry had just been hit by the B.S.E crisis. Following B.S.E the industry was hit with the E.coli outbreak and the new regulations that came in to force. This was closely followed by the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001.
During my time running my own business I built an excellent reputation for supplying my customers with the best local produce, most of which was sourced directly from farms in the area, including Traditional Breed pigs from my Dad. I became acquainted with James Martin through various food fayres in the area, and was named as his butcher of choice in various articles, books and TV shows.
2. Tell us about your plans for the butchery counter at Weetons
I plan to continue to excel at what I do with the team. I hope to produce as much as possible in-house including curing bacon and ham and to develop the charcuterie range including air-dried hams and salamis. We will continue to put in place new and seasonal lines within the counter and our To Cook range whilst always seeking the best quality local meat we can, continuously working with our suppliers to ensure our customers receive the best meat in the area.
We want help people understand more about the meat they are buying, we recently had a visit from some Food Technology students at Prince Henry’s school in Otley and taught them about the anatomy and physiology of lamb carcasses. We will be putting on more masterclasses throughout the year including our popular sausage making courses so keep an eye out for events coming up in the future.
3. What do you enjoy about working at Weetons?
I really enjoy the atmosphere at Weetons and the interaction and collaboration between all the staff. Weetons gives me the opportunity to showcase my skills and the customers seem to appreciate good quality products at an affordable price.
4. What is your favourite meal?
I enjoy sirloin steak, belly pork and a nice lamb curry.
5. Who would you most like to have dinner with and why?
I would like to have dinner with Richard Branson and get some entrepreneurial tips!
6. What is your favourite piece of Yorkshire?
I really like the architecture and history of Harrogate town centre, but I also love the natural beauty of Nidderdale.
If you have any specific questions or requests for Colin, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will be only too pleased to help.