A young Pembrokeshire butcher has made his way to the final three of a national competition, trying to find the best young butcher in the UK.

Mark Wolsey, from Haverfordwest-based Prendergast Butchers, has added much to his family business and personal skills since completing his Agriculture course at Hartpury College at Gloucester in March 2020.

The shop, run by 20-year-old Mark’s parents Chris and Rachael, has itself been nominated for the Welsh Butcher’s Shop of the Year Award, with the awards being held at the Farm and Deli Show at the NEC Birmingham on April 26.

“The family realised that we had to diversify from our farm business alone and bought the butchers shop,” said Mark.

“The shop had become very quiet before we took it over and so we set about transforming it.”

Their Pembrokeshire farm started with approximately 200 breeding ewes yielding 400 to 500 lambs and now has grown to 400 yielding 800 to 1000 lambs per year, adding pigs in later years.

“The farm supplies the shop along with other local suppliers. Our customers love to know where their meat comes from and we’ve found they don’t mind paying a bit more for quality”, said Mark.

In the last year, the shop has seen a huge increase in mail orders, a larger presence on social media thanks to Mark, and customers coming from as far afield as Nevada and Australia.

On the success of the shop, he added: “We saw a surge in mail orders - 60-70 a day during Covid. We were working in the shop from 6am to 7pm and then taking out deliveries until as late as 2am to make sure they got there.”

Mark and his family have further plans to increase and support the business going forward.

Mark added: “We’d like to see the shop grow bigger and I’m planning to do a fact-finding tour of the top UK butchers to make sure that we to bring in the best possible practices that we can to improve and expand.”