Farmer celebrates milestone after opening own butcher store
WHEN Jordan and Maree Schulze couldn't get a decent price for their cattle, they took on a challenge most farmers would shy away from.
They opened their own butcher store.
Schulze's Quality Meats has now celebrated three years in business at Rosewood this year and is helping maintain a long line of local farmers that goes back to the 1880s.
Mr Schulze said he was the fifth generation of his family to raise cattle, for both beef and dairy, in the region.
He took over the family farm at Rosevale in 2012 and now concentrates on beef sold through the store and supplied to restaurants across Ipswich.
Mr Schulze and his wife Maree began developing the idea of a butcher shop in 2012 to gain control over the supply process.
The leap into a different type of small business brought with it new challenges for a man who was used to spending most of his day with animals.
"I'd been farming for 17 years," Mr Schulze said.
"It was a very steep learning curve."
The family now split their time between the farm, which runs about 200 head of cattle, and the John St store.
Schulze's Quality Meats first opened in Rosewood in January 2013 and was followed by a satellite store at Winston Glades.
Following a drop in customer numbers, the Winston Glades store was closed down last year.
The business's latest development is an online store that is only a few weeks old. It delivers three times a week from Rosewood to Redbank.
"The big thing in small business is getting that local support," Mr Schulze said.
"Be a friend and get to know your customer base."
He said of the estimated 500 customers that walked through the door each week, he knew about 450 of them.
Mr Schulze said the business supplies more than 150 meat trays each week to pubs and clubs across Ipswich to be raffled off as prizes, as well as supplying the meat that makes it on to the menu.
Even other meats in the store are as local as they can be - the lamb and pork is sourced from a Warwick farmer and the shelves carry eggs and milk from other local farmers.
"We do all our own ham, bacon and kabana," Mr Schulze said.