O'Neill Butchery, Tangambalanga

Butcher-8.jpg
Butcher Craig Hamilton personally selects the beef that will be used in his Tangambalanga shop from a nearby farm.
 
It’s a luxury not afforded to many butchers, and he says it’s the key to O’Neills Butchery’s success.
 
Craig has run the small old-time butchery with his wife Milinda Hamilton for the past six years.
 
When they took over the 50-year-old business they decided they wanted to provide the best quality meat available and for that they went straight to the farmer.
 
He travels to Jolly Beef at Mitta weekly to select Black Angus for the job – Craig enjoys getting the best quality this way and also the chance for a sneaky fish in the Mitta River.
 
“People want to know more about animal welfare,” he says.
 
“And how many food miles it has done.
 
“That’s why a lot of people shop with us.
 
“We just deal in quality, we don’t try to compete with supermarkets.”
 
He says they must keep prices reasonable because the shop services a small community, but comparably in Toorak the prices would be double.
 
Craig has spent 30 years in the meat industry and says it’s becoming a lost art thanks to supermarkets and industry regulations.
 
He prides himself on using fresh ingredients in his many sausage flavours, which gives them good flavour.
 
One of the most popular is beef and vegemite – something the butchery has done for many years and recently caught on with a large supermarket chain.