Farmers hooked on new business

Rebecca TurnerCountryman
Anthea Brown of Macabee Dorper Lamb is enjoying her first Christmas running new business, The Meat Hook Toodyay.
Camera IconAnthea Brown of Macabee Dorper Lamb is enjoying her first Christmas running new business, The Meat Hook Toodyay. Credit: Rebecca Turner

With Christmas just around the corner, orders are running hot at The Meat Hook Toodyay.

It is the first time shop owner Anthea Brown has been through the “silly season” in her new role as butcher shop owner, and with partner Luke Jones the pair are taking the festive season in their stride.

Ms Brown and Mr Jones took over ownership of Toodyay’s local butcher shop at the start of 2016 to complement the Brown family’s already successful branded business, Macabee Dorper Lamb.

Although demand for the locally grown Macabee Dorper is remaining constant in the lead-up to Christmas, Ms Brown confirmed the traditional Christmas favourites of ham and turkey were being pre-ordered by customers.

She said being relatively new to the butchery business, she was amazed how early on in the year planning for Christmas began.

“I started receiving calls from suppliers in July wanting to confirm what we would be selling this Christmas,” Ms Brown said.

“We have received a lot of orders for turkey rolls and ham; there has also been a few orders for the popular Tur-duc-kin this year too.”

Ms Brown said the ethos of The Meat Hook Toodyay was to source as much meat as possible from local producers, with a preference for grass or pasture-fed animals.

Ms Brown said customers had already been picking up their orders for Christmas and she encouraged anyone who was not already planning ahead to get their orders in to avoid disappointment.

“Some of Macabee Dorper’s repeat customers at the Subiaco Farmers Market are also asking us about Christmas orders,” Ms Brown said.

She said many of their Perth-based supporters were placing Christmas orders through The Meat Hook Toodyay and were then able to collect a pre-arranged pack from the Subiaco Farmers Market each Saturday.

Ms Brown said The Meat Hook Toodyay would also be closed from December 24 to January 16 so customers were also stocking up on their favourite meat for this period.

“Pet meat is also a big market for us with many of our customers making sure they will have enough chicken or beef mince for their pets while we are closed over Christmas and the new year,” she said.

Ms Brown said 2016 had been a busy year for her family.

She said there had been a lot to learn about the logistics of running a butcher shop in conjunction with running the family farm, as well as marketing their own Dorper brand. The family farm has also started producing Boer goat and Angus beef.

“Having the shop, apart from allowing us to gain more control of our supply chain, provides us with another outlet for our product,” Ms Brown said.

“Our product isn’t the only product in the shop. We cannot supply the total demand. When available our goat and Angus will be in the shop and the majority of the time the sheepmeat is our Dorper.”

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