Bangers (and meatballs) smash five major awards

A LEIGH farm and retail butcher is celebrating after its sausages and meatballs scooped five top awards in the space of a few weeks.

Gabbotts Farm, in Chaddock Lane, carried off four Gold Awards at the British Pork Executive’s North West product excellence awards, held at the Bolton Arena last week.

The farm, which has been making traditional sausages to the same recipe for around 50 years, scooped the top prizes of category champion for their pork, apple and sage meatballs for the third year in a row, also winning gold awards for their traditional pork sausages, pork and leek sausages and meatballs with mushrooms and cheese.

These awards came on the back of their traditional pork sausages taking home another gold award at the Legendary British Bangers Competition in Milton Keynes. To qualify for Gold status, the sausages must score 95 or over out of 100.

Operations Director John Molloy said: “High-quality products are the secret of our success, and we have a very good team. I’m delighted that their hard work has been recognised.

“Going to the competitions, where the standard is very high, is the real test of a product, and when the judges pick your sausage out after tasting around 30 to 40 others, that’s very pleasing. They’re also very popular with our customers.

“We are all very passionate about food and are always interested in tinkering and trying out new things to develop our products.

“Over the summer we always try and produce new recipes to give people something a bit different for the barbecue season.

“We approach creating our sausages like a restaurant menu.

“You wouldn’t want to eat the same thing every time you went to a restaurant, and we think our customers don’t want to eat the same thing every time they come to our stores either.”

Gabbotts, which celebrated 50 years in business last year, has grown into a large operation employing around 150 people, including a chain of 11 independent retail stores across the North West.

The farm produces around 22 varieties of sausage, produced daily on site, and tries to offer innovative products as much as possible, holding internal competitions where cooks can try out new ideas.

Gabbotts has now expanded into meatballs and a range of take-home roast dinners, which offer a traditional meat, potatoes and veg meal which can be cooked in the oven in 45 minutes, handy for busy parents who don’t always have time to cook but want children to have a proper meal.

John said: “The company has always been about making good food affordable. We’re very aware we are in recessionary times and have to make our food affordable”.