A Wokingham-based butcher has been named the best in Berkshire in two UK-wide awards after being nominated by their loyal customers.

J.L Butchers, owned by James Lowe first arrived at the Squire’s Garden Centre in September 2021 and has gone from strength to strength.

The team at both the Wokingham and Bracknell branches pride themselves on their creativity and customer service. Despite being located within a garden centre, they have built up a loyal customer base throughout the years and carved out a place in the community.

The Bracknell News spoke to James who expressed his delight after winning the 2024/25 Butcher Shop Of The Year prestige awards and the Best Butchers, Berkshire, England’s Business Awards 2023.

He said: “I’ve built my business over the past 10 years in West Byfleet in Surrey so when you move into a new area it’s always a bit of a worry because people tend to be very loyal to butchers. It’s always a bit of concern that the customer will be there.

“So, it’s nice that the work we have put in over the past 2 years to build that customer base has paid off. It’s amazing to see that it's being rewarded a bit and that we are being acknowledged for the hard work we’ve put in over the last couple of years.

“Our goal has always been, although we are in Garden Centres, we still wanted to have that high street butchers feel where we aren’t just an impulse buy and we have those returning customers that really treats us like a real traditional high street shop. It’s really what we have managed to achieve especially at Squires which is really nice.”

Following the success of the Wokingham branch, James opened a second butcher in Bracknell’s Oaktree Garden Centre.

Due to their butcher's culinary background, there is a big focus on BBQ meats and their specialty sausages.

As a former chef, James and his team are known in the local community for sharing their range of recipes with customers who visit the shop.

The 38-year-old butcher said: “The good thing with us is that I have 15 years of experience as a chef and Ross was a pastry chef but has also worked in kitchens as well so we’ve got that knowledge behind us to pass on to the customers and that’s one of our unique selling points.

“We’re not just cutting and tying meat. We can give that knowledge as well so that we can advise people of the different ways to cook things.”

J.L Butchers have recently been recognised by Wokingham Borough Council as one of the town’s best local businesses that deserve recognition.

James expressed his gratitude to the council for the honor of being the first business to be recognised.