Butch­ery’s his­tory hones the cut­ting edge of lo­cal

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART

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.

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