REVEALED: Lockyer Valley’s best butcher
CELEBRITY chef Matt Preston put the call out to Gatton Star readers to name the best Christmas butcher in the Lockyer Valley and the votes are in!
After hundreds of votes were cast, Gatton Meat Centre was named the top butcher.
For the past 18 years, Joel Schmidt and his father Peter have the run the “small family business”
The Gatton Star spoke exclusively with Joel on Friday who said it was an “awesome result” as he takes the business into the final stages of this year’s Christmas trade.
Joel said he was “very thankful” for the community’s support week in and week out.
“Without them we wouldn’t have a business,” Joel said.
On a busy Friday morning it was clear to see that Lockyer Valley residents love the Gatton Meat Centre, with locals flocking in to stock up for the weekend.
Joel said the key to his business’ success was good customer service as well as guaranteeing top quality products to maintain an edge over the major supermarket next door.
“Everything we can do to try and make the customer experience better, we will do,” Joel said.
“For that reason alone we get a good amount of business,” he added.
Joel said he and his seven full-time butchers love to keep things fresh and affordable for their valued customers, in addition to keeping a good display in their cabinet to attract new ones into the store.
Joel said his wife Joanne also makes up an enormous part of the business.
Joel said the lead up to Christmas had been huge for the business, describing it as like “running a marathon”.
He said it takes up to six weeks to get the gear needed in, building the stock and cooking it in preparation.
“It’s a slow process and you don’t want to burn yourself out,” Joel said.
He said moving into the last week of the Christmas trade period was an “around the clock operation”.
“It’s pretty hectic,” Joel said.
“But when it is all done the satisfaction from seeing happy customers is all worth it. “
So what does Lockyer Valley’s top butcher recommend for the festive season?
“Glazed ham is always the best,” Joel said.
“I love pineapple jam, and I use just a tiny bit of water so it’s not so thick,” Joel said.
He said the key is to heat it up slowly and not to blast the heat into the ham.
“The more time you put into it the better,” Joel said.
The new building, which is expected to open in July, will be two and a half times the size of the pre-existing meat centre at Gatton Square Plaza.
Joel said he and the Gatton Meat Centre team were proud to call the Lockyer Valley region home.