Hugh Maguire, The Smokin’ Butcher
Hugh Maguire, The Smokin’ Butcher – Artisan Craft Butcher and Business Owner
It was on his own family farm in, Bellewstown Co.Meath, where Hugh's mother, Josephine Maguire, first introduced him to the basic but critical culinary skills and methods.
He still remembers butchering their own pork with his father and uncles; breaking it down from nose to tail, curing the meat and eventually producing their own sausages, puddings and rashers.
This early exposure to the production, that Hugh developed a love for butchery. In particular, he loved the curing and smoking processes of pork. This farm to table process taught Hugh, that with the right care and attention, the pork outside on the farm could be transformed into family favourites pork cuts such as rashers, sausages and pudding. It was from here the story of the same award winning black pudding he sells to his own customers today, began.
From there, Hugh’s passion and deep understanding of food and his flair for creative ways of working with natural produce and flavours developed. In 1982, it influenced his decision to abandon prospects of becoming a farmer and instead, beginning a career as a butcher.
After a well established career working for many high-class shops in Drogheda, Tullamore and Navan, and many international experiences, in 1991 Hugh opened his first Butcher Shop in Trimgate Street, Navan, Co. Meath.
At that time, Hugh was one of a new generation of butchers who was determined to maintain the traditional art of his craft despite huge competition from big business. To stand out from the crowd, Hugh knew he needed to develop his own products, that had to be unique and hard acts to follow.
Travelling Europe and experiencing different food cultures, production and charcuterie methods inspired Hugh to bring his locally supplied, top quality meat to another level; so out the back of his small butcher shop in Navan, Hugh would work all hours, developing his passion for butchery and pork into new and unique products.
He entered different competitions in the hope of gaining recognition for his ideas and would endure this trial and error process for weeks, months and for some products even years.
Hard work definitively pays off and Hugh's efforts were met with honourable rewards. Today he is known nationally and internationally for both of his ranges. HM Butcher traditional range and his new and innovative, The Smokin' Butcher range , have both won several awards between them for their sausages, bacons and black & white puddings.
In 2016, Hugh purchased a smokehouse in Navan, where he began smoking some of his own products and, drawing on his award winning traditional black pudding, the smoked pudding and The Smokin’ Butcher were born.
Hugh believes in providing the best locally sourced meat to his patrons. Supporting other local producers and guaranteeing quality is extremely important to him , all the while ensuring full traceability and value to his long established and loyal consumer base. He knows that the success of his business is due having a great understanding of modern buyers' habits and truly believing the customer is ‘King’.
To read more about Hugh's food and business adventures, check our The Smokin' Butcher page.
William Maguire – Brother, Master Butcher, Store Manager
William left college in 1991 to start working as a butcher’s apprentice under his older brother Hugh, in Trimgate Street, Navan.
From the same farming background as Hugh, William had an in-depth knowledge of animal welfare and the quick foresight when it comes to choosing only the best quality meat - beef, lamb, pork and chicken.
William worked his way up to the title of Master Butcher and enjoyed his time in Trimgate street, learning everything about the butchery and retail side of the business.
In 2004, William left Navan to become manager of our state of the art butchery retail outlet, in Ashbourne Co. Meath, where he has remained since, and is the Maguire Team key man on the ground.
Besides manning a 10 player butchery team, William knows our customer’s needs and wants, better than they do themselves. His eye for detail is second to none which helps keeps the choice and display of meat consistently current and on trend.
Hugh Junior – Son, Butcher
Every Sunday morning, from the age of 8, Hugh Junior helped his dad cure bacon out the back of the butcher shop in Navan.
It was from here, that Hugh Maguire's only son first learned about the various cuts of pork, the different preserving methods from salting, curing, ageing and, finally, smoking.
During his school holidays, right through secondary school, Hugh Junior helped his dad and uncle William during the busy BBQ season, making burgers and sausages for their hungry customers. And since secondary school, has become a vital part of the business, consistently applying his knew found knowledge and college course material to his family's business.
From school, Hugh Jr went on to study culinary arts in DKIT, where he was first introduced to traditional and modern culinary techniques and, during his summers, he spent several months working in different food business environments and is now implementing new ideas and techniques to the family business.
He worked in enterprises such as Irish Country Meats in Navan, Neven Maguire’s kitchen in Blacklion, Co. Cavan, the Kitchens of Facebook in Grand Canal Dock, Hogans Farm in Kells, Co. Meath and also spent a Summer in Modena, Italy under butcher extraordinaire Pippoti.
Hugh Junior has a BSc in Applied Science of Food and Business Management from St. Angelas in Sligo and has just returned from a Summer in Switzerland where he was developing his butchery and charcuterie skills. And during the next couple of years, Junior hopes to spend his time between the family business and work experiences in Europe.
Caroline Maguire, wife, mother, accounts and business owner
“I wouldn’t give to you what I wouldn’t give to my own children!”
This quote is the ethos that Caroline, Hugh’s wife, has remained loyal to throughout her years as co-business owner of Hugh Maguire Butchers.
You would often hear and see Caroline, chatting one on one to her customer’s at the cashier desk, exchanging useful cooking tips and knowledge from her own experience as a busy working mother of 3 with a full time job and wife.
An integral part of the business, Carolines practical approach stems from her years in the banking industry and her friendly advice and help, lends to the overall warm and inviting, village feel the Ashbourne shop is known for.