Independent local butchers are a foundation of local community, and a great example of this is Meadows Country Meats in South Australia. A sole butcher in the small rural town of Meadows in the Upper Fleurieu Peninsular of South Australia, the shop itself is over 80 years old, having been established in 1937.
Owner Angus (Gus) Robertson started his butchering career when he was 15 years old through work experience and an apprenticeship with Southern Cross Meats in Adelaide. “My mum was a regular customer of theirs and I loved the friendly, inviting atmosphere that the butchers provided so I thought it would be a good career choice for me,” says Gus.
Gus ended up working for them for eight years, before moving on to Brighton Foodland in 2017, managing the meat room there.
Now he owns his own shop, and says that being the sole butcher in a small country town means they are very community conscious and that this is reflected in the business the local community provides the shop in return.
“We are extremely grateful for the support given to us by our local community and we firmly believe that this support should be reciprocated,” Gus says.
This community spirit is not only shown through their support of numerous local sporting teams; Meadows Football, Cricket and Netball clubs, the
Macclesfield Football, Netball and Cricket clubs and the SA Under 16 State Boys Softball team just to name a few, but pervades in their everyday customer service too.
“Being a small family owned business we pride ourselves in our service and consider our clientele as friends and not just customers.”
Local sport is a huge part of country life and since becoming part of the Meadows community Gus has also started playing football for the local footy team, Meadows Bulldogs.
Meadows Country Meats provide a wide variety of products and mostly source their beef from Paris Creek which is a local Adelaide Hills producer, and their lambs from Lobethal.
“The fact that our beef is locally sourced and hung for at least 10 days before we break it definitely gives us a point of difference and is a real hit with our customers.”
Although he loves his work, after a long six day week, Gus says he always looks forward to spending time with his wife, Ashlee whenever he has free time. The two of them are beginning a new chapter in their lives with the birth of their first child last month.
When asked what he would say to anyone considering a career in the meat industry, Gus states, “you only get reward for effort, the more you put into your job the more benefit you will get out of it.”
“If you wouldn’t eat it yourself then don’t sell it!”