Paddock to Plate butchery a family affair

By Ilona Hanne

The team at Paddock To Plate work closely together.
The team at Paddock To Plate work closely together.

"The focus is on freshness, quality and affordability," says Brad Smith in describing Paddock To Plate, the new butchery on Cordelia St.

Brad and his wife Rochelle are owner operators of the business, along with Brad's brother and sister-in-law, Ryan and Lisa Smith, and Brad says they are already thrilled with the support they have received from the community.

"Since we first opened the doors in the middle of December we have had a steady stream of customers, and the positive comments we have received have been really encouraging."
Brad says he and Rochelle have owned the premises for over a year now, and always had the plan to open up a butchery on site.

"With all the great things we have got planned for the future regarding this business and how it will grow, it was clear early on it would be too much for one family, and when it came to looking for a business partner, opting to work with my brother and Lisa was a no-brainer really."

A second butchers store is due to be opened in Marton, where Lisa and Ryan live, with all the meat sold there being butchered in Taranaki and then transported to Marton.

Ryan and Brad are both farmers, and Brad says they couldn't offer the quality produce they do without the skill and expertise of the team they have working for them.

"We have three very experienced butchers who are as passionate about the business and the final product as we are. They have really been mentors to us through the whole process. We certainly can take no credit for the meat ourselves, that is all thanks to them."

While Ryan and Brad say they can't take credit for the meat, they do plan to have a close hand in it in the future, with the plan being to have 75 per cent of the stock in store coming from their own farms.

"The other 25 per cent will be from other local farmers, so it will all be local, making the name Paddock to Plate completely accurate."

Brad and Ryan say they really value the local farmers they are buying meat from, with Brad saying they owe all of them a big thank you for their support so far.

The family connection with the business doesn't end with the brothers. The beef for sale on the shelves is currently sourced from their parents' farm and Brad says they are all really appreciative of the support they have had from family.

"As well as our immediate family, we have had great support from the wider family, through the Hamua Family Trust, and we recognise this support has really helped us get our business off the ground."

Aaron Dodunski, who contracts as a slaughterman for the business, has also been invaluable, says Brad. "He has been a massive guide or mentor to us in this throughout."
As well as Aaron and the three butchers, the business also employs a packer and Brad says the entire team have been great to work with from the start.

"Everyone is on the same page and cares about the business as a whole. Having everyone care about the final product means quality is always assured as we are all passionate about getting the very best meat out on the shelves."

Having received great local community support, Brad says it is important to him, Ryan, Rochelle and Lisa to give that support back.

"We used local tradies whenever possible in setting the business premises up and we make every effort to support local businesses and community ventures."

One such community venture to benefit from their support is the Prospero Farmers market, which starts on Saturday, January 27 and has celebrity chef Brett McGregor coming to the opening market as well as giving a cooking demonstration.

"We are providing all the meat for Brett to cook with that night at the demonstration," says Brad, who is confident the quality of their meat will impress the popular chef.
"He is used to cooking with fresh, high quality ingredients, and that is exactly what we are giving him."

- Stratford Press

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