Local butchery, Grey Lynn Butchers, wins Supreme Pork Award at New Zealand Pork’s annual Pork, Bacon and Ham Awards
Auckland based Grey Lynn Butchers won New Zealand Pork’s Supreme Pork award at the 2017 Pork, Bacon and Ham Awards for their locally prized pulled pork. The annual awards showcase the best of New Zealand pork, bacon and ham and celebrates pork retailers from across the country for their hard work and delicious pork products.
Owners of Grey Lynn Butchers, Lucia and Eddie, say they work hard to perfect their products and are extremely pleased with this years’ result. “We were honestly very surprised when they announced our name. We had spent a lot of time working on our pulled pork so we couldn’t be happier. We knew it was a winner – and we’re so glad others think so too.”
They say the pulled pork process is lengthy, but well worth the wait. “It starts with a coffee bean rub which we marinate the pork in overnight. Then we smoke it for 6 hours over a low heat and slow cook it in the oven for another 6 hours. We also make our own American style BBQ sauce to go with it.”
Lucia bought the butcher shop over 10 years ago and says she and Eddie are self-taught butchers. “I have always had an interest in food and cooking, but when we first bought the store I had no butchery experience. In the beginning, we had other butchers who helped us run the business, and we learnt a great deal from them. It was certainly a learning curve,” she says.
Now, 10 years on, the shop has won eight medals at the Pork, Bacon and Ham Awards and is a favourite among locals. “We’ve been entering the competition for the last 6 years, and have won a variety of bronze, golds and silvers for our bacon and hams, but this is the first year we’ve won a Supreme award.”
Lucia says the shop was severely run down when they purchased it – but they wanted to breathe life back in to the 50-year-old butchery.
“The shop was in such bad shape that we had to start from scratch. When we first opened, locals would tell us that it used to be one of the best butcheries in Auckland – so we wanted to get it back to where it once was.”
She says they decided to change the entire layout of the butchery, and spent a lot of money and time fixing it – which has paid off.
“People asked us why we didn’t want to open a new store elsewhere, but it wasn’t all about the money.
“We wanted to create a business that was part of the Grey Lynn community – somewhere locals can come and get to know us and our products. We didn’t try and compete with larger retailers.”
Lucia explains how the Grey Lynn area has seen a lot of change during her time – and how she and her team have had to alter their operations to keep up with customer demand.
“The Grey Lynn area has changed quite significantly – and we’ve had to change with it,” she says.
“Over the past few years, a lot of foodie’s have come to live in the area, such as chefs and food writers. We get a lot of feedback from them about what they want to see in our store and what trends are coming up.”
She says change is a key part of their business operations.
“A lot of New Zealand butchers are very particular about how they do things, and we like to do things differently by experimenting with different processes – it’s important to us.
“We like to change and enjoy learning new things. Our customers appreciate it too, because they can come into our store and see something new or different every week.”
Grey Lynn Butchers are prized for sourcing locally, and says their customers are always asking about where their foods come from.
“We are very particular about the origin of our products, and a lot of Kiwis want to buy locally because it’s important to them.
“There are even some customers who want to know the exact farm their meat product has come from – so it’s more important than ever to source locally and promote local products.”
She says New Zealand Pork’s Born and Raised in New Zealand labels are a great way to showcase Kiwi products, and provide their customers with the assurance that what they’re buying has come from a New Zealand farmer.