Martin Thomas is a 5th generation butcher who moved to Pattingham back in 1972 having always been in the trade working in his parents shop in High street Quarry bank. Before this the Thomas family had butchers shops in Cradley Heath and Old hill. Both Martins grandparents the Thomas and the Bowater had butchers shops and the family can be traced back to the early 1800's in the trade.
Though Craig enjoyed working in the business he went off to college straight from school where he was going to learn more of the bookwork side of running the business but because of events out of his control and staffing issues he made the choice to go into the business full time this was back in '94 so to find enough work for him and because of a major supplier to them at the time had just shut down it was decided to bring all cooked deli products in house as upto this point only cooked tongues and cooked hams were done at that point. So it started with Sausage rolls, meat pies and other make up goods that were previously bought in were to be made on site, so Craig and his mother started to develop the recipes for products.
Natural progression meant that as the site was adapted and changes made to equipment and with Craig starting to visit more trade shows and manufacturers of ingredients more and more products were made on site with Black pudding being added in the middle of 1997 and pork pies in 98 and even though the shop had always done a dry salted bacon to sell along side a "wet cured" back it was decided in early 2008 to stop all wet cured back bacon and go 100% dry cured so we can control the quality of the product produced and also it is not going to leave the white liquid in the pan after it is cooked.
Milestones in the business
October 1972 George Thomas (4th generation butcher) took over the shop from it's former owner and his son Martin manages it
April 1978 Martin 5th generation butcher) buys the shop off his father
June 1995 Craig (6th generation butcher) started to work in the business
April 1997 Craig starts to work with A. W. Smith and Sons on creating a unique black pudding blend just for them
November 1998 Martin Thomas Butchers wins Wolverhampton and District butchers product competition for black pudding
November 1999 Martin Thomas butchers wins first and second for black pudding at the Stafford show ground product competition
January 2000 Martin Thomas butchers is awarded the first butchers license in South Staffordshire when introduced
June 2001 Craig achieves Chartered institute of environmental health advanced level (now level 4) food hygiene
June 2007 Martin Thomas butchers creates their first 3 tier wedding cake pork pie for a wedding held at Weston Park
2009 Martin Thomas butchers puts their first website live as a preview site until the main site is designed
September 2010 Martin Thomas butchers wins black pudding competion organised by Wolverhampton and District Butchers association
June 2011 second generation website created with ability to take both online and offline payments
Feb 2013 Craig attended Parliament as part of Taste of Staffordshire event promoted by Staffordshire MP's and Staffordshire tourism
October 2015 Martin Thomas butchers wins Yorkshire butchers black pudding trophy first non Yorkshire business to win a trophy
May 2016 Martin Thomas butchers wins Gold and Bronze medal at IFFA world food expo for black pudding UK's only entrant in any product category scoring 100% off judges from Germany and around the world
October 2016 Martin Thomas Butchers defend their black pudding title in Yorkshire becoming the first to retain the trophyMay 2018 Craig is nominated to join the National Craft Butchers executive council who are the people who run the National Craft Butchers looking after members interests both at a regional and national level
17 July 2018 Craig is asked to attend Ironmongers hall in the city of London for the formal invite to the Executive councils AMM, this is the first time a Wolverhampton and district butchers association member is on the executive since the mid 1960's
5th May 2019 Martin Thomas butchers wins Gold, Silver and Bronze at IFFA Frankfurt for black puddings again the UK's only entrant at the event with a gold requiring 100% from the judges and with those judging our products from Asia, Scandinavia and Europe it was a real mix of tastes doing the judging.
Martin Thomas butchers follows up their highly commended in the Britains best meat pie with the traditional pork pie with a Finalist in the same category this time with the pork 'n' Pancetta pie
Martin Thomas butchers enters the great British food awards entering their black pudding in the charcuterie category which is a 2 stage judging event first by the magazine and organisers then by major food personalities or chefs.
The black pudding cruised into the selected category where a second product was to be sent to the judges own location in our case a restaurant in Covent garden London and after deliberation we took the overall prize for the category.
This achievement was made all the more special as we were the smallest producer to enter and took one of the major accolades awarded.
2021 Craig is appointed by the fellow executive and directors of the National craft butchers to the role of treasurer