As the early morning sun rises on the Northern Beaches and the birds start to welcome the day, your local free range butcher is already getting ready for a busy day ahead.
Our days start at 6am with fresh deliveries making their way to our cool rooms as the day warms up.
Starting the day in Balgowlah Heights
The first job of the day of course, is to get a coffee from our friendly neighbours. Then we get straight into prepping our fresh and gourmet free range meat display, chocking it full of steaks, chops, snags, roasts, mignons, kebabs, wellingtons and whatever else we may feel our customers are wanting next.
As we welcome in our early morning customers, we put the finishing touches on our display and stand back to see what it looks like from ‘the other side’. This is the time we are most proud of our display and the only quiet time we get to take a few Instagram pics or post on Facebook before the busy onslaught!
Keeping in touch with our free range butcher suppliers
Once we’ve set up and had a cup of tea and some breakfast, it’s time to get into the serious work. Carcasses are broken down, gourmet products are crumbed, tied or glazed and we speak to our suppliers about tomorrow’s deliveries. Talking directly to our producers’ gives us the chance to learn a little more about the land, why stock is running low or high and to specify exactly what we are after from them for our customers.
We are very lucky to have farmers just as passionate about the job they do as we are.
As the day progresses, we are also lucky enough to have a community of familiar customers who walk through the door regularly in search of our quality meat, our service and our innovative ideas. Being a free range butcher shop that still breaks down all of its products the old fashioned way (unfortunately not many do these days), we love helping out with new recipe ideas, uncommon cuts or any request that our valued customers may need – all with a smile!
Free Range Butchery – the online era
From the day I started my apprenticeship 15 years ago, butchery has always been a fun job where there’s always something to do and new trends to keep up with. Free Range Butchers, like many other businesses, need to stay ‘on the cutting edge’ of business and technology. It’s with this in mind that we took the leap into online shopping earlier this year and are moving more into the world of social media (keep an eye out for our first Facebook Live post in a couple of weeks – it’s sure to be entertaining!). The most exciting part for us, as free range butchers, about this new digital world is having the ability to share with the world the fascinating information about where our products are from, how they’re raised, how Turduckens are made, cooking tips and tricks and whatever else we can think of to highlight our wonderful trade.
The best job ever
We also don’t take for granted that our whole team is passionate about their jobs and together we’re excited about the direction butchery is heading! It really is a special thing to come across and makes for a fantastic and positive work environment. Butchers are now doing so much more to make meal times a treat — we’re becoming part of the process and joy of cooking and we love nothing better than hearing our products have been enjoyed at a party over the weekend.
Bringing the excitement of a truly rewarding career to the next generation of butchers is something I believe in strongly. A butchery apprenticeship now only takes 3 years with combined training from TAFE NSW and on-the-job with qualified butchers in the shop. In a retail shop, young apprentices learn knife skills, communication, teamwork, time management, health and safety procedures and so much more, all in a supportive environment. We see apprentices as the future of our wonderful trade — a trade that gives so much to farmers, drivers, butchers, casual staff and communities.
Then to call it a day
Another long day has flown by in the shop. The after-school, pre-dinner rush comes through and we have a last flurry of excited serving, dishing out easy and nutritious, quality meal ideas to the last of our customers. As our day comes to an end, we then set about soaking, scrubbing, cleaning and sanitizing all of our boards, knives, choppers, band saws, mincers and mallets. We put all the meat safely back into the cool room each night to help it keep as fresh as can be, wash out the window and give the floor a mop.
After all that fun, it must be time for a beer – another day in the life of a free range butcher – the world’s happiest trade!
It just so happens that we’re looking to take on a new apprentice at our shop. If you know of anyone who just might fit in with our hard-working and passionate team, please feel free to get in touch with me directly – firstname.lastname@example.org – or you can find more information here: Butcher Apprenticeship in Award Winning Shop