Introducing the happy team at Ashburton Meats – Victoria’s Retail Butcher Shop of the Year for two consecutive years – where we offer you premium quality produce and top-class knowledge, served with a smile.
We’re renowned here on Ashburton High Street and throughout the greater Melbourne area, because at Ashburton Meats we take pride in our award-winning meats and the experience of our dedicated staff.
“We’re all about knowing our product and the traceability from paddock to plate,” says shop owner and head butcher Paul Klooster. “Our philosophy is nothing is too hard for our loyal customers.”
With six butchers among the store’s 15 staff, personal customer attention is paramount at Ashburton Meats, first established on Ashburton High Street more than 100 years ago.
“Our staff give our customers great service, good product and knowledge of product and can explain the traceability,” says Paul.
It’s a family-run business where Paul has learned the trade from the ground up, starting at Ashburton Meats in 1989 as a 14-year-old “clean-up kid” and graduating to shop manager before buying the shop in 2018 from owner/farmers Col and Julie McMicking.
“I grew up around the corner from the shop and it has been in my life for more than 30 years,” says the father-of-three, who loves the community feel of his business.
“We have a relationship with our farmers and a relationship with our customers. We are part of the community – half of the local high school has worked here over the years and I run sausage-making classes at the local schools.”
Handy with a recipe, Paul and his wife Kasey developed their award-winning Paul’s Fine Foods gluten and preservative-free range of spice rubs and sauces in their home kitchen in 2009.
“We have a range of about 40 sauces, chutneys and spice rubs that are really popular and were great fun to experiment with and perfect at home with Kasey,” says Paul. “And we’re really excited to be recognised for our efforts with our roasted garlic, tomato-based pasta sauce winning the 2018 silver medal at the RASV Fine Food Awards.”
A winner of the highly acclaimed John Reddish Award for best customer service, Paul encourages his staff to his same exacting excellence. Store apprentice Steven Powell took out the 2018 silver medal at the Lifeline Apprentice Competition, and assistant manager Steven Goodman, won second place representing Australia at the 2013 Tri-Nations Butchery Competition.
“I’m only as good as my staff and I treat them well,” says Paul. “Visitors can feel the happy vibe when they come into our shop.
“We love to give old and new customers hints and tips about the cuts of meat they’re buying and where it comes from and how they should cook it – it’s all part of the service here at Ashburton Meats.”