Our business has also been selected along with a few other butchers in a Self Auditing Quality Assurance Program, supported by Safe Foods called the Benchmark Butchers Challenge. We work closely with our Inspector so we can ensure the customers of cleanliness and hygiene and that the correct temperature control is maintained at all times.
In 2006 we were approached to open a shop in the new Dalby Shopping World. As our two sons Dean & Craig are now involved in the business we decided to give it a go. We do most of the preparation in the bigger Pittsworth Shop and keep the Dalby Shop more for customer service. This has been hard work but has proved to be a great success and a rewarding challenge.
With all this working effectively for us we know the meat consumption of our customers is way above the National average.
Ashton’s Butchery was established in January 1977 in the country town of Pittsworth on the Darling Downs. Pittsworth shire has a population of approximately 4,000 people which means we have to compete against the bigger centre of Toowoomba only a half hour drive away.
When we commenced business in 1977 we had a staff of four butchers and over the years this has grown to a staff of over 30, including apprentice’s, casual staff, wash-up men & boys and over the counter service staff.
With the growth of the country town of Pittsworth, our business has expanded accordingly, causing us to burst at our seams in the shop that had been our home for 25 years. Late in 2001 we started to make moves to build a new shop, moving into this new, bigger and better purpose built premises in August 2002 from which the business has continued to grow. Meat industry personnel that has visited our shop are very impressed, the usual comment is that even in the big cities like Brisbane you would not find a shop of equal quality and size, for a small country town this is a big achievement.
We look after our customer’s with competitive prices, prompt service, helpful advice and cater to their dietary needs. Our customers are our number one priority as without them we would not have a good business. We have a kitchen in the shop, from which is prepared home cooked meals that have become very popular for the busy housewife and working mother. Our staff take pride in their work and are encouraged to suggest innovative ideas add, to locally produced beef, lamb and pork products and the gourmet chicken range through value adding.
Ashton’s Butchery has two locations. The main shop is in Pittsworth and the second one in Dalby in the Dalby Shopping World. Both shops are in good farming areas, more recently mining operations are commencing in the surrounding areas. We cater for a large cross section of people within both these communities.
The Pittsworth Business was brought from Rob’s old employer Mr Tom Aldridge in 1977. The business has always been a solid business and this has been enhanced with coal mining starting up in the area in the late 1990’s.
It was about this time we started entering and winning Sausage King competitions which have been a good incentive to keep trying harder. Having one of the largest display cabinets around, people who came from other areas like Toowoomba and Brisbane could not believe the variety and quality of meat and sausages we have on display. We have always been a quality shop so many of these customers are now regulars. We also offer a home delivery service in a 50 to 60 km radius which includes Toowoomba and surrounding areas. This has proved very popular with customers.
In our new shop, we built a kitchen to cater for the busy lifestyle of today’s families. This part of our business which includes pre-cooked, heat and service meals like Beef Lasagne, Beef Stroganoff, Beef & Pasta Bake and Shepherds Pie plus Pastry Products and many more interesting and healthy items has grown to the point that we now employ two women full time just in the kitchen.
The most important reason we feel our business is successful is the high quality of meat we always have in stock. We buy the best local lambs we can source. Pigs for fresh pork, bacon, hams and smallgoods are supplied by one local farmer to ensure a good consistent product. Beef which we take much pride in is secured from a few selected farmers, but mainly we supply our own from our property near Pittsworth. The cattle are hand picked and crop fed as well as grain assisted. This environment, being a short distance to the abattoir ensures tenderness as well as great flavoured meat. We purchase carton beef from selected quality wholesalers and although we feel there are a few things wrong with MSA Graded beef it has improved the quality of carton beef immensely.