Butcher to expand into new building by mid next year
CONTRACTORS will begin carving a vacant block of land within days to make way for a new store front for the Gatton Meat Centre.
The popular Gatton butcher, owned by Joel and Joanne Schmidt, is set to expand into a new building next to McDonalds on Eastern Drive, in Gatton, by July next year.
The development has been nine years in the making, after the couple began looking for alternate options for their Lockyer Valley business.
“If we didn’t have the block we wouldn’t be moving,” Joel said.
“We need the complex and I think that, along with our product and service, has really helped us.”
The new building will be two and a half times the size of the pre-existing meat centre at Gatton Square Plaza.
Customer space and cold rooms will be twice as big, and the show case cabinets will almost be double in size.
It will be business as usual once the team moves into the new facility, however they will look to implement some new products – such as pre-packaged and dry ageing.
“We will start doing a bit more prepacked, for people that are going camping and drive through, its easy grab they can throw in the Engle and go camping,” he said.
And Joel quashed rumours of a drive-through service.
Despite taking two years to finalise the new building, Joel said it has allowed the business to have exactly what they wanted.
“We want to see how we operate in a bigger space. Even though we are confined here, everything is convenient because its so close,” he said.
The additional space means the butcher team will be able to “better age meat” and have a larger selection of roasts and products.
“A lot of people say fresh is best, and I’m not going to debate that for one second, but to get all the factors right for having tender meat, age is one of them that makes it tender,” he said.
“There’s things we have never been able to do here, that we will be able to do in the new shop – like dry ageing.”
A special cabinet will also allow the team to focus on smallgoods – one of their specialties.
Joel’s father, Peter Schmidt, originally purchased the Gatton Meat Centre, a pre-existing business, in 2002.
And on Wednesday this week, the Gatton Meat Centre celebrated 18 years in the Schmidt name.
Joel said there was no secret to running a successful butcher shop, but put it down to teamwork, product and customer service.
He said his wife Joanne played a huge role behind the scenes and made up an enormous part of the business.
“It’s a team thing, she plays a huge part, unrecognisably,” he said.