Butcher closes after 30 years as competition gets too tough

Brett Wortman

A Sunshine Coast business that has traded here for the past 30 years has closed its doors because of the insurmountable dominance of the big two supermarkets.

Sun City Meats of Coolum, was originally Mick's Meats of Cotton Tree when it first opened 30 years ago.

It became Sun City Meats after shifting first to Birtwill Street and 12 years ago to the Coolum Park Shopping Centre.

Where do you buy your meat from?

This poll ended on 28 June 2016.

Current Results

Local butcher


Coles or Woolworths


I don't eat meat


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mick McGlusky said he had worked seven days a week for the past 10 years with no more than two consecutive days off as he attempted to compete with th proliferation of supermarkets which have sprung up across the region.

He closed his business on Saturday saying it was no longer sustainable.

"There are too many supermarkets,'' he said "Get used to it."

RELATED: Locals get behind independent shops as butcher closes

Mick said Australia seemed to be following America's lead saying a contraction of fresh food outlets is inevitable.

Fruit shops and bakeries were faced with similar challenges.

Mick said the majors now targeted every retail segment.

"Coles does $80,000 business in one store a week and that's four butchers out of business,'' he said.

"There is less competition every week. We've got two giants in the room and they are divvying up the pie."

He said the days of 8-10 employee butcher shops was now gone with the number of privately owned businesses down to about a third mainly in small country centres.

Wholesalers who supplied independent butcher shops were also now feeling the pressure.

Mark Sidaway who has supported the business since its Cotton Tree days said he now faced a 15km drive to get meat from somewhere other than Coles or Woolworths.

He said the independents pay be more expensive but he preferred the service, quality and ability to be able to order the cuts he wanted.

In fact Mark was so grateful for the service Mick provided he used to bring him a carton of beer every Christmas to say thanks.

Long-time Coolum resident Bev Noonan said she will dearly miss going to her local butcher who used to prepare cuts especially for her family.

"I'm a bit of a fuss pot with rib fillets and he always picked a real beauty out for me."

"I used to take my knives in and he would sharpen them as it's a dangerous job." 

"I'm so sad to see him go as he always goes the extra distance ."

Topics:  butcher coolum retailers supermarkets

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