Episode 25 - Prime Retail
On the next episode, screening 2 September 2018 at 7pm on TVNZ 1:
When Central Hawkes Bay farmer Duncan Smith first heard his entrepreneurial wife, Annabel Tapley-Smith, suggest they should buy the local butchery in Waipawa, he’s pleased he didn’t dismiss it out of hand.
Duncan and Annabel had often thought about selling their own home-grown meat to the public. Buying the well-known Waipawa butchery and controlling their own supply chain answered their dreams.
The butchery is only 15 minutes from home, says Annabel, who is only too happy husband Duncan got on board with one of her schemes.
A little over a year ago, the pair took over the butchery from Murray Stephens, who owned the butchery in Waipawa’s main street for nearly 60 years.
The Smiths now supply the butchery all year round with prime beef and lamb grown on their own Patangata Station in the Tukituki River Valley.
“We didn’t know anything about running a butchery when we first started”, Duncan says. “Annabel and I worked in the shop during the winter to learn what our customers wanted.”
Annabel, who is an event marketer, says they have enjoyed the challenge of taking over a business and putting their own stamp on it. “We gave the shop a bit of a face-lift but essentially it’s still a rural butchery and we get a huge buzz when our customers come back each week.”
Duncan wanted to ensure they had the same quality product on the shelves every week.
“We set up some rules around what kind of stock we would supply to the butchery. That meant ensuring all the animals coming into the butchery are female and they have been killed at specific weights. We find meat from female stock, including pigs, is tastier and juicer every time”.
The rules seem to have paid off. Every week they process between six and eight cattle and 35 sheep. The Smiths had to hire new staff, which has led to three people moving to Central Hawke’s Bay and buying houses there.
Duncan and Annabel have also widened their market, selling meat mid-week in Dannevirke and Palmerston North, and every Sunday they set up a stall at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market.
The market exposes to more than three thousand people a week and Annabel says it is like a seventh day of trading. “People come and try the sausages on Sunday and then they call into the butchery during the week to buy more”.
Duncan and Annabel say all farmers are really proud of their product and many put their heart and soul into producing the best beef and lamb they can.
They say that in their case, they are fortunate to be able to sell that product to locals and give them the chance to enjoy meat grown locally.
Read more about Waipawa Butchery here.
Find out more about Casey McDonald & Craggy Range Winery here.
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