Charcuterie News, September 2021

In the September edition of Charcuterie News, we shine a spotlight on the brother duo, Alastair and Chris Stevenson, owners of Gilly’s Smallgoods, located half an hour north of Brisbane on the coastal suburb of Clontarf.

The brother duo is renowned for their high quality and locally sourced products which supply many local butchers, some H&R businesses and independent supermarket groups.

Gilly’s Smallgoods was originally established in 1984 by Graham Gill as a butcher shop in Deagon but eventually outgrew this location, relocating to Clontarf where they have been operating since the late 1990’s.

The trade runs through the duo’s blood with their dad having spent his entire life working in the pork industry. He began working at Hutton’s in the late 1970’s and went on the supplying stockfeed and nutritional supplements to pig farmers.

“We began working with our dad exporting pork to Singapore in the early 2000’s and he taught us a lot about the industry. This knowledge and experience are what helped us to purchase Gilly’s Smallgoods in 2005.”

Since then, Gilly’s Smallgoods have evolved into a local household name, producing high quality products using Australian Pork. The duo has won countless awards for their ham, bacon, and smallgoods products, helping to create and sustain a very loyal customer base. The business is also of a size where they can tailor make products to suit customer requirements and provide hands on service.

“We still work off the ethos that old fashion flavour never goes out of fashion. We take pride in creating the best products and offering the best service for our customers!”

Their mission is simple: to make consistently good quality produce from local producers.

In order to keep up with current trends, Alastair and Chris have always been open minded and invested heavily in new equipment each year to ensure customers are provided with a consistent high-quality product.

“This helps to make our factory more efficient and create another point of difference within our business. Prior to COVID-19 we were in the process of applying for our export license, but this has been delayed but is something we are excited to pursue in the future.”

As well as applying for their export license, Alastair and Chris have been working on a vision to produce a healthy range of smallgoods for kids, helping to break the stigma that these products are unhealthy.

“It is important to invest in our future generation and create products that support their health and wellbeing.”

The duo like to challenge themselves by creating products that are preservative free, gluten free and have reduced additives, further re-writing the narrative for the nutritional benefit of smallgoods products.

Gilly’s Smallgoods is a family run business with a low staff turnover rate. The brothers and their dad both work hands on within the company and employ around 50 staff across all areas of the business.

“We believe its important to know everyone and are approachable to all! You are only as good as your staff, and this helps them to deliver the same service to our customers.”

To create and foster a strong relationship with customers and the local community, Gilly’s Smallgoods employ many local staff members, sponsor sporting clubs and local schools.

“This is important to us as the local community play a large role in our business, it’s essential we find a way to give back and support the community.”

Alastair and Chris are dedicated and passionate about their industry and business, both unable to see themselves stepping back from the business as it is considered a major part of their lives. Their passion and dedication are palpable through all they do, helping to inspire staff and drive customers.

“Loving what you do is so important, it makes or breaks a business. The motto we have always followed throughout life is that to succeed you have to believe anything is possible and be prepared to work hard to reach that end goal.”

The duo is constantly looking to grow and evolve their business by branching out to be more diversified. They are looking at bringing plant based raw material in from Europe to cater for more consumers.

The company has recently acquired piggeries, the Byron Bay pork brand and have launched a meat-based restaurant (Bakehouse Steakhouse) to offer customers a true and authentic paddock to plate experience.

With all their success and dedication in mind, the duo offered this advice for anyone considering a career in the industry: “It may not be as glamorous as some industries, but it is very fulfilling and rewarding, there are really some great opportunities to be discovered, what are you waiting for?!”

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