Allora Butchery has been hauling blue ribbons and luring meat connoisseurs from near and far with some of the fanciest snags in Australia plus other gourmet delights.
This is no ordinary butcher shop. Grey nomads drive for hundreds of miles to visit, orders are phoned in from around Queensland, outside catering requests come thick and fast, and the shop counter is always busy. This is a butcher shop that is doing things differently and creating notoriety.
Dating back to the 1800s, Allora Butchery is believed to be the oldest butcher shop in Queensland. Owners Grant and Janette Lollback bought the business 10 years ago and quickly recognised that selling only meat simply did not cut it anymore, particularly with butchers now competing with big chain supermarkets. After careful planning, Allora Butcher launched award-winning and daring sausages and sumptuous timesaver meals. Beef and blue cheese, maple and smokey bacon, mango and macadamia- these are just a handful of the 26 sausage flavours produced by Allora Butchery.
Over the past decade, most varieties have won gold awards at the prestigious annual Sausage King or Butcher’s Choice competitions. Their most famous sausage, the chicken, cheese and chives, took out the poultry section in Queensland’s 2010 Sausage King finals and went through to the national competition.
Each recipe is tried and tested over at least 18 months in a bid to create taste perfection. Shop regulars are well accustomed to sampling and consulting on each sausage flavour. After starting to flourish in the sausage market, the Lollbacks identified a need for more convenient meal options … particularly for single blokes and busy families in the local area. Their timesaver meals such as Malibu chicken, enchiladas, beef wellingtons and others are popular and cost-effective ways to add flair to home menus without hunting, gathering, recipe sourcing and cooking.
When it comes to meat, Grant is particularly fussy. Every two weeks, he handpicks yearlings for the shop’s beef supplies. He prefers to know the exact breeding, nutrition and upbringing of each beast to ensure consistency in quality for custumers. Lamb, pork and chicken are all locally sourced to stringent criteria. Only female pork is sold to ensure any risk of boar tasting meat is removed.
Grant and Janette’s initial inspiration for walking the beat of a different drum and their obsession with quality came from attending a conference with Australia’s most successful baker, Tom O’Toole.
From Tom, they took heart in the fact that highly successful businesses do not have to be in a busy metropolis and can succeed in rural locations.
Tom should know; he turned a failing bakery in an isolated country town with a population of 3000 into the highest earning single bakery retailer in Australia.
Allora Butchery has come a long way in the past decade yet Grant and Janette are committed to continuing with the diversification of their business, growing their brand and have their sights firmly set on a national title for their sausages.
Words by Andra Bite | Images by Michael McInally