Charcuterie News, November 2020
Located in the Adelaide Hills is Skara Artisan Smallgoods, which has been operating since 2007, producing premium continental charcuterie. In 1986, Anthony Skara was a food loving young 15-year-old who left school and completed a pre-vocational smallgoods course, and he hasn’t looked back.
“I have worked in many shops and factories around Adelaide in my early days, but I always had a drive to be in my own business and with this I had to learn how to collaborate my passion for the industry and how to be a business owner,” says Anthony.
What makes Skara unique is that they are good at telling their story, especially from their humble beginnings.
“I have always sourced our meats locally and tried to use local suppliers whenever possible, our recipes are traditional and we blend our own seasonings for our product range.”
“We employ locally and work closely with our local government members. We have always supported our local sporting teams, local CFS and Lions Club. From day one, I have always supported the homeless shelter in Adelaide which we donate to weekly.”
“The Adelaide Hills has a great business community and we have a number of events throughout the year where we can share ideas and help each other.”
“We always try and stay ahead of the rest of the industry, but I would like to see the industry work together as a whole. If a business does something negative, it impacts the entire industry and we all suffer.”
Anthony has learnt to move away from focussing on turnover but rather making a profit and finds this is the key to a successful business, working on systems, people and costings. This year with the effects of COVID-19, Skara Smallgoods have had huge growth in a short period of time and have been able to invest back into the business.
“Steady progress and calculated and measured growth is the key to the future of a successful business, never let your turnover, over take you. I am always working at where I will be in 1 year, 2 years and 5 years.”
“I remember back in March when COVID hit Australia and we were all in uncharted waters, I had a meeting with all my staff and I told them I will do everything possible to keep them employed. They give me their passion and have helped Skara become the successful business it is today.”
Skara is a wholesaler supplying national supermarkets, fine food stores, hotels, cafes and green grocers. Skara claim their top achievement to date is a zero tolerance to waste. They currently boast less than 1% waste, turning it into a saleable by-product.
In 2018, Skara won a sustainability award and a business excellence award from Food South Australia and local government. This achievement positioned Skara as a leader in the South Australian food industry. Skara has also scooped a number of state and national AMIC awards for their smallgoods products.
“The length of time you spend doing something you are passionate about and the effort you give will give you the results you are after.”
“When you first start out in business, it’s to do something that you are passionate about and for me had nothing to do with making money.”
When asked what advice he would give to those considering working in the industry, Anthony replied, “Research the industry and what you want to get out of it. Look further than being a butcher or smallgoods maker, find out the science behind the food, learn how to deal with people, this will make you more confident. Never stop learning, always surround yourself with positive people and make sure you write down your goals.”
“We spend most of our lives working, you must learn how to enjoy them. Have fun with your staff and encourage them whenever you can. Rewarding staff will give you back tenfold.”
“The most precious time is family and being in business we do not get much time, so whatever time you get, spend it with loved ones. Reward yourself, it’s not the money you work for.”
“There are new things coming in 2021 for Skara watch this space,” says Anthony.