Dir­ran­bandi butcher cel­e­brates mile­stone

Balonne Beacon - - FRONT PAGE - Laura Ku­bicek

CEL­E­BRA­TION: Dir­ran­bandi butcher Greg Stephen cel­e­brates 37 years of own­er­ship this week­end.

SEC­OND-GEN­ER­A­TION butcher Greg Stephens is pre­par­ing to cel­e­brate 37 years of busi­ness.

Born and bred in Dir­ran­bandi, Mr Stephens is a long­stand­ing com­mu­nity mem­ber pas­sion­ate about sup­port­ing and shop­ping local.

Stephens Butch­ery in Rail­way St, Dir­ran­bandi, first opened its doors on Septem­ber 1, 1980.

Greg’s fa­ther, Pat Stephens, orig­i­nally started the fam­ily busi­ness with a slaugh­ter yard and shop.

At the age of 84, you will of­ten find Pat in the shop. He no longer works but still en­joys be­ing in­volved and spend­ing time there.

Mr Stephens’ ear­li­est mem­o­ries are hang­ing about the shop af­ter school. With his older brother as the main butcher at that time, he started work­ing in the busi­ness at the age of 16 un­der his brother’s tu­ition.

In the decades since then, the shop has supplied meat for many local or­gan­i­sa­tions, fundrais­ers and shows, and for sev­eral years sup­ply­ing the B&S Ball.

Proud of the longevity of his busi­ness, Mr Stephens speaks of the dif­fer­ence in run­ning a shop in the bush com­pared to the city.

“You need to sell top-qual­ity meat to keep peo­ple com­ing back. I have to fo­cus on qual­ity,” he said.

Of­ten found engaged in con­ver­sa­tion out front of the shop, Mr Stephens is the kind of bloke al­ways ready for a chat and a laugh.

“You have to be ap­proach­able in this busi­ness. You need to be jovial all the time and have a great sense of hu­mour to be a butcher.”

Meet­ing peo­ple is part of the job Mr Stephens re­ally en­joys. He speaks of all the “char­ac­ters” he meets, both local and those trav­el­ling through. He is al­ways keen to hear in­ter­est­ing sto­ries and says with a chuckle, “I prob­a­bly talk too much.”

One of the shop’s most re­quested prod­ucts and a spe­cial­ity for Mr Stephens is his flavoured sausages.

“I’ve sent them far and wide,” he said. Or­ders have been sent as far as Syd­ney and Townsville and even mak­ing it over­seas.

Mr Stephens plans to of­fer some new ex­cit­ing flavours at the up­com­ing cel­e­bra­tion.

The busi­ness’s 37th an­niver­sary will be cel­e­brated with a sausage siz­zle at the shop on Satur­day, Septem­ber 2.

Mr Stephens hopes to see a great turnout be­tween 9am and 11am.

Pop down to en­joy a taste of the flavoured sausages and check out the in-store spe­cials.

❝ You need to be jovial all the time and have a great sense of hu­mour to be a butcher. — Greg Stephen

PHOTO: LAURA K PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

PHOTO: LAURA K PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

SIZ­ZLING SAUSAGES: Dir­ran­bandi butcher Greg Stephens, with dad Pat, is cel­e­brat­ing 37 years of busi­ness this week­end.

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