PROVING beef and beer make a winning combination, a Bishop’s Hull business owner is celebrating a prestigious award.

Tom Parker, who has owned Bishop’s Hull Stores with his wife Maitane Garcia for around three years, recently entered one of his pie creations into the Taste of the West Awards and was over the moon to find out it had received an award.

Tom said: “It came back with a gold award. It’s absolutely amazing, I can’t quite believe it, the standards are so high.”

The steak and ale pie, made using Plastered Pheasant Ale from Quantock Brewery, has added to the shops already popular pie range.

“We use locally sourced ingredients, so it’s Somerset beef, and because we sell Quantock Ale in the shop, it made sense to use them.” said Tom.

“Pies have been a long-standing thing here and we wanted to add something new. We developed it over a three-to-four-month period.

“We get so many compliments about how good the pies are and we just thought it would be a good one to enter.”

It has been an uncertain year for most small businesses, each facing their own unique set of challenges and local shops like Bishop’s Hull Stores are no exception.

Tom said: “It’s been one of those things. This last year has been really tough. We are lucky we’ve been able to open but it’s a different stress. We go to bed every night wondering if we will be able to open tomorrow.”

While the shop has supported it’s customers through the pandemic, Tom is also grateful to the people who have helped his business continue too.

He said: “We’re only a small, local, independent business. It’s not just the quality of the meat and stuff we sell, but it’s the service as well. I think the people have appreciated it.

“I’d like to say thank you to the community for supporting us and I’d like to say thank you to our staff too.”

Tom and the team will now need to wait to find out if their pie has made it through to the next phase of judging with a further list of results expected in July.