The owner of a local butcher shop said he was 'humbled and grateful' after being named the best in Buckinghamshire.

Andy Cook, 62, founded The Meat Hook on Chapel Street in Marlow in 2021 after moving to the area from the West Country.

In just two years, the butcher shop, which also functions as a fishmonger, patisserie and deli, has become a much-loved part of the town's fabric and was nominated by customers as the Best Butchers in Buckinghamshire in England's Business Awards, ultimately taking home the title at a glitzy ceremony on October 1.

Andy was full of praise for his clientele, calling Marlow "the most wonderful town I've traded in in all my life" and described the support from customers after taking home the prize as "incredible".

He added: "Personally, I was humbled and grateful. It was the most lovely thing and it was wonderful that our customers put us forward.

"It was a bit surprising as we're relatively new, we've only been open for two years, but it makes you feel that all the hard work has been worth it."

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Andy also said the mystery shopper judges, whose votes decide which businesses take home the top prizes, had made the win all the more satisfying because it was "unbiased" and not based on "overperforming or upselling". 

Alex Dawson, 29, who was recruited by Andy when the shop opened and attended the awards ceremony at the Guildford Harbour Hotel, said he had also been surprised by the win, but attributed it to the lack of a hierarchy in The Meat Hook and the natural camaraderie that exists between both team members and customers. 

"Some people at the ceremony had been in the business for 40 years, and we've only been doing it for two, but when I started working here, coming from big hotels, it was really nice to be in an environment where everyone treats each other with respect.

"I'm sure the customers can see that we're enjoying ourselves, and you get complete strangers bouncing off each other and swapping ideas. It really creates that community feeling." 

Alongside other winners of the regional business awards, The Meat Hook will now go on to represent Buckinghamshire in the national Grand Final next month.