Russell Greenwood has been a butcher on the Coffs Coast for close to 19 years and recently opened a purpose-built shop at Moonee Market: Russells Prime Quality Meats. FOCUS spoke with Russell about the new venture, his range of gourmet products and the
importance of quality.
What is your connection with the Coffs Coast?
My wife, Deborah and I moved here back in 2000. We raised our daughter here, and our first grandson was born here.
What influenced you to become a butcher?
My father was my biggest influence – it was get a job, or stay in school. I took the job at the age of 14.
Can you tell us a bit about the history of your business? When and why did you first open your doors?
I purchased the butcher shop in Park Beach Plaza back in 2000, which my wife and I ran for 18 years. We met many wonderful people during that time. I also entered meat industry related competitions and was very successful in both the Sausage King with the Australian Meat Industry Council and the Sydney Royal Agricultural Society, and of course quality meat. In 2018, it was time to call it a day. After a few months, the opportunity arose to open at Moonee with a brand new concept towards the way retail is heading, so Deb and I took a leap forward and opened our Moonee store in August 2018.
You’re now located at Moonee Market Place. Tell us about the growth and positive impact this has had on your business.
I can’t really say too much about the growth, as we all know the Northern Beaches are going forward in leaps and bounds. We have been very lucky to be accepted by the locals (new customers and our previous ones coming out for a drive). Everyone loves Moonee Market Shopping Centre and our new shop. Gowings have done a great job.
What do you like most about being a butcher?
Always early to rise. I enjoy a coffee with my wife in the morning, which is always the best start to the day. Work usually starts by speaking to my suppliers, then arranging the meat for the shop. After that’s done, the preparation begins – could be preparing lambs, orders, beef, and even making sausages.
Do you home deliver?
Not at the moment, but it’s not out of the question.
Has the market changed since you started running the shop?
Yes, definitely. Due to the drought, the price of quality meat has increased – the same as fruit and veggies. Like everyone else, we can only do the best we can.
We think your meat is a CUT above the rest (sorry, we can’t help ourselves). What meat cuts can we expect to see more of this year?
Most people like easy, so depending on the season determines what customers eat, from a roast to a chicken filo – it could even be just a sausage sandwich.
Can you tell us why the meat is always better from a butcher, rather than a supermarket?
Unfortunately, supermarkets have lost their people skills. You can see this by the number of self serve checkouts. In most cases, the meat is packed at a central packing premises. At least if you buy off a butcher, you are supporting a small business.
What other products do you sell in store?
Well, good question. I O Shen knives, chutneys, pesto, crackers, dips, olives, cheeses, mayonnaise, aged meat from our Himalayan salt dry ageing unit, and much more. You will have to visit us to see our full range.
Tell us about your community involvement.
We support both Rotary Club and Lions Club.
Can you tell us something that we might not already know?
Follow us on Facebook; we share recipes weekly.
How do we get in touch?
Come in and see us at Moonee Marketplace, Moonee Beach, or give us a call on 0435 202 808.