AN 88-year-old Scottish butchers has beat off fierce competition to be crowned the best in the UK.

McCaskie’s Butchers and Café in Wemyss Bay secured the coveted title of being named the UK Butcher Shop of the Year.

It comes just a few days after Wemyss Bay was also voted as being home to the UK’s most loved train station.

Lifting the trophy at an awards ceremony in Birmingham, co-owner and managing director Nigel Ovens said it was the proudest moment of his life.

Ovens, 46, was a finalist in the awards last year and explained how the popular butchers had made further improvements.

The National: Nigel Ovens outside his butchersNigel Ovens outside his butchers (Image: McCaskie’s)

“I was shaking with excitement”, he said.

“To win the Scottish Butcher’s Shop of the Year was more than I had ever dreamed and I wasn’t even thinking about the next part.

“To then win the overall UK title – I can’t quite put it into words.”

He continued: “I’m still in shock. We were up against the most impressive butcher businesses in the land.

"To think our shop in Wemyss Bay could beat the best of the best in the UK is just amazing. I’m so proud of our entire team.

“People are now asking me what the secret is to McCaskie’s success is and I can only reflect on what we’ve pursued to see us judged the best in the business."

“You need dedication and attention to detail, a high-quality product range, innovation and progression – never stand still. You also need uncompromising standards in the appearance of the shop and highly trained and customer focussed staff. 

“And, of course, you need investment to keep up with modern standards and customer expectations.

“At McCaskie’s we’ve invested well over a million pounds in recent years ensuring that we can deliver the best products in the best way in the best possible premises.”

He said all the staff should take credit for the national award but singled out his mother and co-owner Elizabeth who, at the age of 19, entered her father’s shop and has remained a stalwart of the business for the past 60 years.

“I'm dedicating this award to my mum and dad,” said Ovens.

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“Mum lives and breathes for McCaskie’s and this is just reward for 60 years of devotion, hard work and leadership. She works tirelessly to deliver the very highest standards of products and service, inspiring the whole team in the process.”

Ovens's elation was tinged with sadness, however, as his father, Tom, passed away three months ago.

“My father should have been here to see this,” he added.