High Street Hero
Winner: Bryan Beveridge, Beveridge Butchers, Dunfermline
A butcher who took over his shop just weeks before lockdown and proved a lifeline for the community has been named as Scotland’s High Street Hero.
Dunfermline businessman Bryan Beveridge said it was “magic” as he was awarded the accolade as part of the Scotland Loves Local Awards.
It came after judges were told of the tireless work that he and his team has done since the onset of coronavirus – including making 100 deliveries a week to customers.
Mr Beveridge, 56, a butcher of 40 years standing, took charge of what was formerly Johnston Butchers on the High Street, where he had worked for the previous 15 years on March 1. Lockdown came into force later that month.
As the pandemic took hold, he and his team, who source all of their produce locally, launched a delivery service – which stretched as far as Dalgetty and Cowdenbeath – set up a website and branched into social media to serve customers.
It was an effort appreciated by the community – with customer numbers up by a quarter, allowing him to recruit an apprentice and factory manager.
Dunfermline North Councillor Helen Law was among those who nominated the veteran butcher and said: “Bryan has been a real hero during the pandemic.He was really in at the deep end, but he’s done a fantastic job.
“He really became a lifeline for the whole of the community. His shop’s fantastic and has gone from strength to strength.”
Mr Beveridge, who lives in Glenrothes and is well-known across Fife, believes Covid-19 restrictions have helped people appreciate the value of locally-sourced, freshly-prepared produce – with his customer numbers up by a quarter.
He said of his award: “It’s magic. I’m delighted. I’ve got great support from my staff. If they hadn’t bought into what we were doing it would have been chaos.
“I couldn’t be prouder. At the time when we were open last year, the last thing I was thinking about was something like this. It’s great to be recognised, but you’re only as good as the people behind you. I know it’s my name above the door, which is fantastic, but it’s the staff and public who’ve bought into this.”
And the butcher thinks the role of local businesses has never been more important, as the Scotland Loves Local campaign urges everyone to think, choose and spend locally to ensure their survival.
He added: “The High Street is the backbone of the town. It was hard for us during the first lockdown because we were the only shop open for 200 or 300 yards. That was quite an experience – even for the staff to need letters to say they were working in a butcher’s.
“It was quite a scary time. It was hard. No-one had answers. You had to think seriously about what was going on.”
High Street Hero was sponsored by Spar Scotland