NEW BUTCHER IN TOWN
New butcher brings vision for the future
DESPITE the town being in the middle of one of the harshest droughts in history, Steve Alexander has taken a leap into a new business.
Mr Alexander, 30, is the new owner of Alpha Quality Meats in Alpha, the rural town 170km west of Emerald on the Capricorn Highway.
“It is (the drought) something I considered and I feel like if I come in now it is going to be hard going but once it picks it up it will be fine,” he said.
“I see that community needs it (a butcher) more than I need money.
“I am not here to screw everyone out of their last penny.”
He said, as a town, it was hard to tell how the economy was going.
“It is doing all right.
“It is very quiet and it has just been in the last month and six weeks.
“It is noticeably less people – head count it is a lower amount.”
Mr Alexander moved to the rural town, which has a population of 571 people according to the 2011 census, in January this year.
He and his partner, Kylie Jones, moved with their son, Stockton, 3, for Kylie’s first rural teaching stint.
Coming from Oakey and prior to this, Brisbane, at first it was a bit of a culture shock, but they quickly grew to love it.
“We love it here .... it was an adjustment to begin with,” he said.
“It’s a quaint little town, everyone is so friendly it’s very community spirited.
“I started meeting all the people, the people here are what’s keeping the town alive.”
Looking for work, Mr Alexander starting working at the butcher shop.
He hadn’t picked up a butcher’s knife in some time.
After completing his butchers’ apprenticeship in Townsville at the age of 20, he went into various other fields with his last role being a chippy – so he was a bit rusty with his knifing skills.
“It took me a couple of weeks but I got there,” he said.
“There is a few cuts that I wrecked but I got there.”
Offered the opportunity to take the shop on, Mr Alexander said he could see a future in it.
“A challenge for one and secondly I can seen a lot of potential in this little shop.”
He said it would be good to bring a different face to the town.
“I am trying to broaden their horizons, something new and fresh,” he said.
A pipe dream is to put in a community garden next to the shop and use 100 per cent local produce.
“I want to keep as much money here as possible,” he said.
“Instead of money out, if it costs you a tiny little bit more.”
LEAP OF FAITH: Steve Anderson with partner Kylie Jones and their son, Stockton, 3, are the new owners of the butchers in Alpha. They hope to bring a fresh new face to the town experiencing a harsh drought covering most of Queensland and New South Wales.