Gosforth Q Guild Member celebrates 30 Years in Business.
A popular butcher known for supporting the produce of North East farmers is preparing to celebrate 30 years of being in business.
George Payne opened his shop in Brunton Park, Gosforth, in 1987, following his late father Harry into the butchery trade, having worked in it since the age of 10.
In the three decades since then, he has won a number of awards and helped found - and at one stage chair - the Butchers Q Guild, which represents 120 of the country`s leading butchers.
He was also named a `Food Hero` by celebrity chef Rick Stein for his continuing commitment to sourcing and supplying rare and native breed meats, an area that has earned widespread renown for his shop on Princes Road.
He said: `I found I loved it all those years ago - and I still do now. When I get a chance to work at the block, I look down at my own hands boning lamb, for instance, and think that`s a skill to be really proud of.
`Even though I have done the same thing thousands of times, it is still fresh and wonderful, though these days I am fortunate in being able take things a little easier thanks to the support of a great shop team led by manager Alex Daley, who will all go that extra mile to help and advise our customers.`
Mr Payne, who is 68, has forged a number of `field-to-fork` partnerships with local farmers over his time in business.
He currently sources premium beef from pedigree Dexters from farmers John and Sue Towers, of Combhill Farm, near Morpeth, while much of the shop`s lamb and pork comes from Tom and Karen Burn, of Hunting Hall Farm, Beal, Northumberland.
He has also been closely involved with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and shares its ethos to conserve and protect the UK`s rare and native breeds of farm animals from extinction.
Mr Payne added: `We are always looking to provide something different, notably meat that cannot be bought in supermarkets. You really can taste the difference. How do we know? Our customers often comment on the quality and flavour of these traditional and native breeds.`
The business` 30th anniversary will be celebrated in June when it will sell beef topside at the same price it was sold at when the shop opened in 1987.