Specialty goods a family affair at Mataura butchery

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It is not unusual for a son to work for a father, but it is not as usual for a father to call his son the boss — but this is the case at the Mataura Butcher Shop. Chris Duffy is the manager of the long-established butchery and his father is the business’ smallgoods specialist. John, an experienced butcher who used to own his own business in Gore, has been working for Chris for about six months. But this change in role precedes a much longer working relationship. ‘‘I started working for him when I was 8,’’ Chris said. Chris used to stand on a bucket to help make sausages, he said. John is bringing his expert smallgoods skills to the butchery and passing on his knowledge to his son. Since the butchery was bought by Waikana farmers Lyn and Trevor Newton late last year, the business had experienced an increase in sales, Chris said. ‘‘The shop’s going very well.’’ The range of made-on-the premises smallgoods, such as a variety of sausages and traditionally cured bacon, was proving particularly popular, he said. The butchery boned out its own quality meat for the smallgoods. Having ‘‘reasonably’’ lean meat and natural skins for the sausages ensured they were tasty, he said. The butchery was attracting customers from Invercargill through to Dunedin as well as in Mataura. ‘‘There’s heaps from Gore. John said the pair were ‘‘getting along all right’’. John said he was 16 when he started in the trade. He had a break and came back to the trade about 18 months ago, he said. ‘‘He sort of talked me into coming back.’’ He was happy as long as Chris listened to his instructions regarding the making of smallgoods. He was keen to pass on his knowledge. ‘‘It’s good.’’ Most of John’s recipes were in his head, but he was now committing them to paper. Although Chris comes from three generations of butchers, John never encouraged him to become one too. ‘‘He always told me, you don’t want to be a butcher,’’ Chris said. John told Chris, if you want to be rich, don’t be a butcher. It was hard work, too.