Success To Date
It was on Hughs family farm in Bellewstown Co.Meath, where his mother Josephine Maguire, first introduced him to the basic but critical culinary skills and methods.
He still remembers himself, his father and uncles, butchering their own pig, breaking it down from nose to tail, curing the pork and eventually producing their own sausages, puddings and rashers. It was from this early exposure to the pig, that Hugh developed a love for butchery but in particular the curing and smoking processes of pork.
One of his fondest memories is working alongside his mother Josie, in the back kitchen of their farm house. He remembers the sweet smells of the seasoning's being added to the fresh black pudding mix, as he helped Josie stir the necessary ingredients in with the pork he previously helped break down with his Father, Liam.
Hugh, abandons prospects of becoming a farmer and instead, began his professional career as a butcher. Hugh served his time , learning the trade under several highly skilled butchers in Drogheda, Tullamore and Navan.
Hugh opened his first Butcher Shop in Trimgate Street, Navan, Co. Meath. William, his youngest brother, joined him as an Apprentice Butcher.
In 2003 Hugh wins the following awards: Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland, National Sausage & Pudding Awards, National Gold Award for Black & White Pudding and the Oorkonde Fresh Food award for Traditional Black Pudding.
Hugh and his brother William opened a new ultra-modern butcher shop in Ashbourne Town Centre.
Hugh was awarded Supreme Irish Champion for his Polish Paprika sausage.
Sausage & Pudding Awards Regional Competition, Gold, Black Pudding.
Hugh wins the retail excellence award for the top 5 stores of the year.
Hugh was awarded for the best breakfast sausage in Europe and also won the Grand Prix d’Excellence concours du meilleure boudin blanc (white pudding).
Hugh was voted in as President of the ACBI where he remained president until resigning in 2016.
Hugh purchased a smoke house 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.
As good as his signature and award winning , traditional black pudding is , Hugh always wanted to improve on it and see what other countries were doing in the black pudding market.
He then set off to Lyon in France (The Gastronomy Capital of Europe), with his good friend Cetric. They visited and worked in various butcher shops and I learned a lot from that experience.
Hugh then travelled to Burgos in Northern Spain (famous for the Morcilla pudding). Again I got great insights into the production and ingredients used in the process of making the pudding.
Hugh began making and experimenting with puddings in his new factory. One day, while making the pudding, he had a “light bulb” moment to smoke it. His enthusiasm for smoking was enhanced by his travels across Europe.
The smoked black pudding was an amazing success in terms of taste and flavour. I really felt I had broken into new territory and I then showcased the product in my Retail outlet in Ashbourne and the feedback was really positive. I then felt it was worthy of entering into the Great Taste Awards in London. For sure I was proven right when I scooped the “Supreme Champion Award for 2017”, the Oscars for the food industry.
Hugh also won a Great Taste Award.
In 2018 we Launched our new brand, shop fit out and the new website!
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