For the past seven years, Gingin farmers and father-daughter duo Courtney Bayliss and Wayne Fewster have been supplying locally grown and slaughtered meat to the community they call home.
It has been an exciting best part of a decade for the family-run business, Gingin Premium Meats.
“We’re cutting out the middle man,” Mrs Bayliss said.
“We are sourcing the lamb, beef and pork locally, and then it goes to the abattoir and straight to us in the butcher shop.”
It is all part of their paddock-to-plate passion, with much of the beef sold raised on their own family farm just out of town.
The creation of Gingin Premium Meats stemmed from an idea Mrs Bayliss — who had just finished studying animal science at Murdoch University, and was deciding where she would take her career — had to market bulk beef from her father’s farm.
“To build a facility that could handle that — a boning room and packing room and things like that — was going to be a huge cost,” she said.
“That’s why when the butcher shop came up for lease, we thought ‘maybe we can do both’.”
The butcher shop returned to the Fewster family after Mrs Bayliss’ grandfather owned and built it with his brothers many moons ago.
“A lot of the railing in the shop was welded by my Pop,” she said.
While opening the business was a “bit of a risk”, it has paid off.
The store was vacant when they moved in, so they worked hard to get the customer base back.
“That was probably the biggest challenge in the first 12 months,” Mrs Bayliss said.
“But since then, the local community has been very supportive.”
The shop competes with supermarkets offering delivery to Gingin, but the family works hard to keep prices competitive and support local farmers.
“We’re working really closely with the local abattoir, we’re super lucky we have them just down the road,” Mrs Bayliss said.
“A lot of the beef and the lamb is, if not from our farm, from local Gingin farms. I think people love that idea so it’s working really well.”
COVID-19 did not create any downtime, with the business “run off its feet” to meet orders during the height of the pandemic.
Sales took off at such a rate the family had to shut orders temporarily because they couldn’t keep up with demand.
While soaring meat prices have provided a challenge, Mrs Bayliss backs farmers wholeheartedly.
She said it was great to see producers “rewarded for something they should’ve been getting rewarded for many years ago”.
The business’ new delivery service means a range of cuts are being delivered across Perth and Gingin, with a homegrown touch.
“Our best-seller is the ever-reliable porterhouse steak,” Mrs Bayliss said.
“We can age and hang the beef as long as we need to, and usually a lot longer than other butcher shops or grocery stores can do.
“They’re aged for a minimum of 21 days, always, which we think has a big impact on the flavour and tenderness of the meat.”
They are also serving up a unique mix of cuts to cater for the country town’s wide demographic.
“A lot of our demographic is working mums or mums that just need something simple, easy and child-friendly,” Mrs Bayliss said.
“And the older generation still love those old-school type cuts like the lamb four-quarter chops and osso bucco for those slow-cooked hearty meals.
“Because we slaughter our own animals, we get access to a lot of offal as well, which seems to sells well. It keeps it interesting.”
The mother of three and husband James, who works as a town planner, have recently taken over a farm lease from her dad.
The pair have three daughters – Sage, 5, Josie, 3, and Meg, 2.
“We’ve just recently made the decision to put Gingin Premium Meats on the market,” Mrs Bayliss said. “The farm is where I’d like to put my focus, and it’s where we see ourselves spending more time as a family.
“The shop has been ‘our baby’ for seven years and we’re proud to have built it up to be a great business but it’s time for a fresh face in there. Hopefully the new owners will continue our little passion in providing the community with locally sourced meat.”