The Butchers Advocate, August 2021

595km east-northeast of Perth in the rural city of Kalgoorlie, WA, lies the renowned Everett Butchers, one of only two butcher stores in the town. It is known and loved for its high-quality customer service, no waste policy and specialty South African and New Zealand products for ex-pats.

Owner, Stephen McKenny, is a second-generation butcher with the passion and love for the trade running through his veins.

His father was a butcher for Tip Top meats in Perth, where Stephen undertook his apprenticeship straight from school in 1980. Since then, he has gained over 40 years’ experience in the industry and passed on his skill and passion to his son Gavin who works for his father as a full-time butcher. Stephen’s granddaughter Chloe also works on the counter after school and weekends.

“I have worked at various butcher shops over the years, which has helped me establish myself in the trade and also understand customers and what they want. It’s great to have passed this passion down and to have three generations working in the shop!”

Stephen believes Everett Butchers point of difference is their approach to customer service, where no customer request is too much trouble.

“Our core value is ‘deliver wow through customer service’, we make products up to customers recipes if required and do our best to make sure everyone leaves with a smile on their face!”

As well as providing quality service, Everett Butchers specialise in spit roast catering for events, offer unique South African ad New Zealand products for expats, have a zero-waste policy and own ‘Everett Pets Plus’, a store where a range of dry and wet pet food is sold.

“By offering these services and sourcing local products we really can set ourselves apart and help maintain our core value of providing for the customer.”

Stephen and Gavin recently finished a complete store renovation, modernising the shop and product offerings. The new store is fitted with a self-serve pre-packaged fridge area, a smoke oven, dry food pet stock area, a specialty biltong drying rack and extended freezer and cooling room space.

“Having everything under one roof has cut down working times and helps to increase productivity. We’ve introduced new product lines which has helped to generate more customers, we have seen a 32% increase in 8 weeks!”

Stephen and his team have further expanded by installing a caterer’s kitchen to allow a chef to work autonomously to cook homemade pies and fill the newly installed bain marie station.

“This section sells out every morning, I think we have created a monster!”

As well as servicing their loyal customer base, Everett Butchers has a large client base that consists of local restaurants, pubs, mining companies, sports clubs, expats working in the mining industry, online customers, and local hospitals.

Stephen has a team of butchers, apprentices, counter hands, trade assistants, after school staff and a business manager. He has trained and qualified eight butchers and is an advocate for women joining the industry.

“We have previously trained three female apprentices over the past 10 years and currently have 2 more in training. I really encourage more women to join the trade!”

Everett Butchers success can be seen through the multiple awards they have won, most notably the Goldfields Business Awards in 2018.

Stephen places a large emphasis on involvement with the local community. He has always believed that without community their can be no growth. The business has always been part of that community by employing locals, using local trades as needed and joining sporting and chamber business committees.

“Its important to give back to those who support us. We have a 12-month budget for donations of products, services, and cash that community groups can apply for. This keeps our involvement even and objective!”

Some of these donations include weekly meat trays to the Kalgoorlie Football club, weekly meat raffle for the Mines Rover Football Club, $100 monthly donation to Vision Christian Radio and 20 x $50 gift cards per season donated to the Boulder Football Club.

Stephen’s vision for the business is clear; understand how recent upgrades and renovations have impacted the shops success to further develop and grow.

“We need to be open to change as businesses have to adapt to external factors such as COVID-19. We have pivoted towards online sales and have begun offering home delivery to people that have to quarantine.”

When asked what advice you would give to someone coming into the meat industry, Stephen said “Be honest and stand by your word. Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved!”

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