Supermarkets killing our corner butcher shops
BRASSALL butcher Gerry Muckert will end an era when his Pine Mountain Rd shop shuts its doors on Saturday.
Brassall Meat Mart will close as developers eye off the site, with the suburb going through a boom in residential infill projects.
Mr Muckert said margins were no longer sustainable for the corner butcher shop.
He said the stand-alone butcher store would completely disappear from our streetscape in the next decade.
"They will be a thing of the past. In 10 years you won't see any. It will be all supermarkets. It might not even be that long the way things are going," he said.
He said the butcher shops in shopping centres would go too.
"Rent kills them. It will be a sad day. The supermarkets will have their own way then. Then they will be able to charge like bulls," he said with a laugh.
The property is now under contract with land developers.
It was his brother-in-law Jack Green who gave him his start as a butcher at age 17 at his Warwick butcher shop. After learning the trade, he moved back to Ipswich and at 22 set up his own butcher shop at West Ipswich.
He teamed up with his brother-in-law, forming Muckert and Green Butchers at what is now Ipswich Skylights at North Ipswich. They bought land from Bill Boody from Brassall's Boody's Store to build the current store in 1962.
"Those days butchering was a gold mine to be honest," Mr Muckert said.
"We used to do a hell of a lot of beef here. At one stage we were doing 36 (whole) bodies of beef in this shop, now we're doing four.
"It's a real tough game now; no margin in it anymore because the price of cattle went through the roof."
Muckert and Green employed up to 12 butchers in its heyday during the 1970s and ran three butcher shops; the current shop, the Ipswich Skylights site and a third shop where Brassall McDonald's now stands. Brassall Meat Mart employs four permanent butchers.
Now aged 81, there is no retirement in sight for Mr Muckert. He runs a feedlot at Karrabin
"That's all I want to do now," he said. "I love showing cattle, I have done for the last 30 years. I win nearly everything around the place.
"I've won grand champion in Ipswich about 20 times. I go all around the shows, I love it."