Ashburton Meats wins Victorian Independent Retail Butcher Shop of the Year for the third time
Quality paddock-to-plate butcher Ashburton Meats has been crowned Victorian Independent Retail Butcher Shop of the Year for the third year running.
Master butcher and store owner Paul Klooster accepted the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) trophy at a glittering dinner at Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre on the weekend (Saturday 23/11/19).
“To win this award three times is reassuring we are doing something right across the board. From our farms to our suppliers; our customers and our amazing staff, we have obviously got the right approach,” said Paul, who also took home a silver in the Sausage King Competition for his scrumptious pork and fennel sausages.
“To be honest, it was a bit of a surprise to win the big one for the third time in a row because I thought the judges might share the love around a bit this year. But we’re all very excited at the result.”
Beating out five other finalists from across the state, Ashburton Meats was assessed on a range of criteria including the premium quality of its paddock-to-plate meats and the knowledgeability of its staff.
“The award covers every aspect of the business from the presentation of our produce, to the cleanliness of our shop, the variety of our products and how we contribute to the local community,” said Paul, who is an Ashburton local and runs sausage making classes at the nearby schools.
“In the last month of the competition, AMIC sends around mystery shoppers to test all the finalists. You’re never sure who that customer will be so you have to be on your game the whole time.
“But that’s no stress for us because we treat every customer the same.
”And this win is great for our regulars because they love being able to say they shop at Victoria’s best butcher shop – and at Ashburton Meats we’ve got the trophies to prove it!”
A family-run business, Paul started at the shop, on Ashburton’s High Street, as a 14-year-old “clean-up kid in 1989, finally buying Ashburton Meats six years ago.
“We are constantly innovating to create the best experience possible for our customers,” said Paul, who devised his award-winning Paul’s Fine Foods range of exclusive marinades, sauces and spice rubs with his wife Kasey in their home kitchen. They also sell an extensive range of game meats, cheese, homemade pasta, Jersey milk and free-range eggs.
“It’s the flavours and quality of our produce that keeps our customers coming back for more.”