ONE of Worcestershire’s best known butchers shops has reached the finals of a national competition.

Multi-award winning Checketts of Ombersley, which can trace its history back more than 100 years, has made the final of the National Butchers’ Shop of the Year awards. The glittering ceremony where the winners will be announced will be held at the Plaisterers Hall, London, on Thursday, November 14.

Phil Checketts, who runs the business with his wife Pam and son David, who is general manager, said: “It really is great news that we are in the finals and particularly good to be recognised for our newer ventures, which complement our butchers shop. “We are on the map now as a ‘destination shop’, which is a tribute to our hard working staff and loyal customers who have supported us for many years.”

The business was founded by Thomas G Checketts, Phil Checketts’ grandfather, in 1902 in the village of Wyre Piddle. It moved to Ombersley Road, Worcester, in 1911 and then to the present premises, in Ombersley, in 1925. The shop has gone on to win many awards, including multi-golds for its pies and sausages, and the Droitwich Food Festival best sausage category. It was highly commended in the Deli of the Year competition and has a five-star hygiene rating.

“One of the reasons we have done so well in the Butchers’ Shop of the Year awards is because we have diversified into running a fishmongers, delicatessen, coffee shop and gifts, while continuing to run the very busy butchers shop,” Mr Checketts added. “The category we entered is called ‘butchers plus’, be-cause of the success of our delicatessen, which we took over in 2010. “There are only three finalists in our category in the UK. “We are the only one in England, the other two are in Scotland.”

The NBS awards are organised every year by the Meats Trade Journal.