Butchery’s history hones the cutting edge of local
When it comes to running a small butchery, Wayne Dickinson finds it is best to keep things simple.
‘‘All a butcher needs is four things: corned beef, bacon, sausages and a smile,’’ he said. ‘‘If you’ve got all those right, then you should do pretty good.’’
These four things, as well as more than 100 years of business, are what set Matamata Butchery apart, said Mr Dickinson.
The Matamata local has run the butchery for 25 years, with Graham Hornsey coming on as co-owner in 1999.
Both of them “fell” into the trade after leaving high school and admit that it wasn’t high up on their lists of preferred occupations.
‘‘It’s not the nicest job to have to do but someone’s got to do it,’’ said Mr Hornsey.
And at Matamata Butchery, they are committed to doing the job well.
‘‘We like to think we provide the best quality meat – it may not be the lowest price, but what you are paying for is quality,’’ said Mr Hornsey.
‘‘Someone can come in here and say ‘I want a steak this thick’ and that’s what they get. If we haven’t got it, we will endeavour to get it for them.’’
Working 12- hour days – and extra around Christmas – comes with the territory, although Mr Hornsey said being their own bosses did have some advantages.
‘‘I can take Fridays off to go fishing and Wayne can go and chase a golf ball around. Except I heard the boss is supposed to work the hardest, so it’s probably not good to say that.’’
The pair are training two apprentices and also employ a slaughterer and said it was important to keep the trade going.
Matamata Butchery opened as a small shop on Broadway in 1909 and has had a string of owners over the years.
Mr Dickinson moved the shop to its current premises in Firth St 13 years ago.
With 50 per cent of their business in retail meat, the other half is comprised of a home-kill service.
Mr Hornsey said they had customers who had been with them since he started as an apprentice 20 years ago.
‘‘You really get to know the customers,’’ he said.
‘‘A lot of times someone will pull up and we’ll know exactly what they’re going to get before they get it.’’
The business shows support for a number of sporting clubs, often offering meat packs as a prize for fundraising raffles.
For the past 10 years, Mr Dickinson has been involved with United Matamata Sports, running junior rugby and acting as a member of the senior committee. Mr Hornsey is also involved in local sport, taking under 5s athletics over the past three summers.
‘‘We both have kids at the local schools as well, so we help out there where we can,’’ said Mr Hornsey. ‘‘I think it’s safe to say we are a local business.’’ Paper please people.
The Girl Guides will be yet again running the paper drive for the Hinuera-Te Poi Lions.
Last month’s pick-up netted 6.3 tonnes.