Tin Can Bay Family Butchery proprietors Scott and Stacey Barker with son Hayden
By Julie Hartwig
When Scott and Stacey Barker of Tin Can Bay Family Butchery decided the time was right to open their own butcher’s shop, little did they know what they were setting themselves up for.
‘I learned the butchery business working for a wholesale butcher in Blackwater,’ says Scott. ‘Everything from the live product, the butchery trade, right through to sales and customer service. The knowledge and experience I gained has stood me in good stead throughout my 20 years as a butcher and it’s been invaluable in opening my first butcher shop here in Tin Can Bay.’
Before coming to Tin Can Bay, Scott worked for a large retail butcher on the Gold Coast. ‘It was very different from what we have here,’ he says. ‘It was all about volume sales and very impersonal. Finding the right location for my own shop was as much about the business as it was about the lifestyle.’
Stacey said, ‘It took 3 years of searching to find the right business, but we knew this was the right one for us. It ticked all the boxes. We’re attracted to small communities and we wanted to buy a business in a one-butcher town. We’ve spent a lot of time in small towns and we like the open, relaxed, friendly lifestyle. Here, we have the added attraction of the coast. It’s a great location to run a business and a great place to raise our family.’
Like most small business owner/operators, Scott and Stacey don’t have much spare time, but Scott likes to go fishing and they spend family time with their one year old son, Hayden.
‘Hayden came into our lives at a very busy time,’ says Stacey. ‘Who in their right mind has a baby and buys a butcher shop within two months? It was crazy, but it was exciting. Buying the business was all about being able to run it the way we wanted and to build the future we want for our family.’
Scott wanted the shop to feel like a traditional butcher’s shop. A place you can come into and have a yarn while your order is made up. ‘Providing great customer service is really important,’ he says. ‘We’ve got a good little team here, with Michelle and Dale, and Tim, our first year apprentice. He’s already proving a bit hit with his customer service skills.’
Scott and Stacey aim to provide a consistent standard of service, offering quality, locally supplied products at affordable prices. Scott provides a range of “old-fashioned” products not often available in supermarket butchers and is happy to order in specialty meat products. He also does all his own smoking (bacon, ham, bacon chops), produces a range of gourmet sausages that are amongst his best-selling items, offers a cryovac service for boaties and a free home delivery to Tin Can Bay, Cooloola Cove and Rainbow Beach.
‘The local community have really supported us,’ says Stacey. ‘In return, we support a lot of community groups by providing sausages for sausage sizzles and vouchers and meat trays for raffles. This has been a rewarding aspect of being in business in a small town and it’s helping us to build our relationship with the local community and that in turn is good for business.’
Scott and Stacey are very happy with how their first year has gone. ‘We’ve laid good foundations to grow our business on,’ said Stacey, ‘and we’re looking forward to the future.’
As the business’s first birthday approaches, Scott and Stacey have no plans for a big celebration, but they will be offering some in-store specials. So call in and check out what’s available. Tin Can Bay Family Butcher is open Monday to Friday, 7.00am – 5.00pm and Saturday 7.00am-12.00 noon.