Paddock to plate butcher tips scale at business awards
NOT only has Schulte’s Fresh Gourmet Market made its mark and earned a reputation for quality meats and deli produce, the family-owned business has secured its on spot on the map as a tourist destination.
Owner Peter Schulte is excited about the growth and popularity of the Plainland business, as well as being “over the moon” about winning the Large Retail Business Award at the Lockyer Valley Business and Training Awards.
“We’re the only place in Australia that has its own abattoir and does retail and wholesale and has all the small goods — it’s the full paddock to plate,” Mr Schulte said.
Mr Schulte’s father — Wolfgang Peter Schulte — founded the business in 1952 as an immigrant from Germany who trained as a master butcher.
With his wife Sylvia — who was a sixth-generation Lockyer Valley local — Peter established the iconic ‘Schulte’s’ business and raised five children.
Now, the landmark business is welcoming busloads of tourists keen to check out the range of meats available.
“We’re getting tourist buses almost every day now,” Mr Schulte said.
“The shop’s getting busier and busier as the area grows. We make all our own pies and salads in-house and we sell Ballandean wine from Stanthorpe.
“We’re stocking more value-add products and food such as potato bakes, veggie bakes and salads.
“We are different. There’s not even many places in Brisbane that have the variety we do.”
All meats sold at Schulte’s are sourced from local, southeast Queensland farmers and are processed at Schulte’s own Hatton Vale abattoir.
“People want to know where their food comes from these days, and then when they cook something up for others they can tell them where the food comes from.”
Mr Schulte said it was a “hard” time for farmers, and he had regularly posted on social media about the difficulties the industry faced.
“The ones we work with are coping OK but I know there’s a lot out there hurting, especially when it comes time to restock their properties.”
He said that with his wife Melinda who worked on promotions for Schulte’s, and son Braydon who is factory manager, he was “really proud” of the business’s family history and current efforts with community work and engagement.
“We do lots of fundraising and community work for the Valley and with Lockyer Valley Tourism for the Regional Flavours event.
“We’re really proud to be from the Lockyer Valley, and all our labelling has Lockyer Valley on it.”
Mr Schulte said most of the staff were from the region and, with plans for next year including a factory extension and an increase in products, he hoped to keep growing both the retail or shopfront and wholesale sectors of the company.
“The Lockyer Valley is the food bowl of Australia and we’re glad to be part of it.
“As we grow, we’re going to need more staff, so we want to keep it local.”