After purchasing the very butcher shop he began his profession 39 years ago, Peter Barratt’s career has come full circle.
Now, with his daughter, Teagan at his side, he is delighted to share his life work and pass on his knowledge in a trade typically dominated by males.
Peter began work at the Angaston, Schulz Butcher at the age of 15 in 1982.
Having been established in 1939, Schulz’s was already a reputable butcher and a fantastic workplace to learn the trade.
Eventually, with an apprenticeship behind him and first-hand experience with Schulz’s very own smoke house, built in 1967, Peter departed the business in search of further development.
Peter worked a lap around the Barossa butchers, gaining knowledge and experience within numerous shops around the valley, before returning to Schulz’s in 1994.
Peter was appointed assistant manager of the store and remained in that role until it was sold in 2000.
Peter then managed the store until it was sold again in 2018.
Peter sourced alternative employment for a while, until last March when he and a previous workmate, Steve Gay were presented with the opportunity to purchase the iconic Schulz butcher shop.
Considering the uncertain effects Covid-19 may have had on our lives at that time, Peter and Steve made a bold decision in purchasing the store, one that proved advantageous.
Upon taking ownership, Peter and Steve renamed the Schulz butcher shop, Barossa Smokehouse Butchers, a title that pays homage to the iconic smokehouse, reflects aspirations to further utilise its purpose and brings awareness of its existence.
As our pubs and restaurants were forced to close, business boomed at Barossa Smokehouse Butchers.
“I think the time in lockdown really made people enjoy cooking at home again,” Peter says.
Dinner parties became back in vogue, as did sitting around a charcoal cooker with friends and a glass of wine.
Peter and Steve attained countless new customers during lockdown, and welcomed back many they had not seen for years, all of whom now continue to return on a regular basis.
Directly after purchasing the butcher shop and without encouragement, Peter’s daughter, Teagan expressed interest in his career.
Teagan initially began work in the back of the shop, making schnitzels, shasliks and burgers amongst other things.
“She picked up the meat side of things very quickly,” Peter beams.
“I’m a proud father. Most of the time dads work with their sons. It’s not very often you get a daughter jump in, especially in this game.”
Teagan now works five days a week and on top of the meatworks, has become the friendly face of the shop front.
“It’s just what we needed,” Peter nods. “A kind, happy, friendly face.”
Teagan receives regular encouragement for her welcoming front-of-house service and presents the ability to become a great butcher, should she continue that path.
“Eventually I’d like to know all the cuts of meat and be able to cut them myself,” Teagan smiles.
“But I’m happy where I am at the moment. Who knows, time will tell.”
Besides the smokehouse, located in the centre of Murray Street, Angaston, produce from the Smokehouse Butchers can be purchased at Tanunda Foodland.
Their flavours also contribute to numerous delights around the valley.
One particular example is the iconic pizzas from Roaring 40’s, for which the Smokehouse produces double-smoked bacon, smoked chicken and smoked ham on a regular basis.
Out the back, Kyle Stanley, a smallgoods specialist, creates masterpieces of exceptional quality, all on site, from kranskys to black and white puddings.
“He does a great job,” Peter says.
The smokehouse has not been altered since it was built in 1967 and continues smoking day and night, Monday to Thursday. However, it is far from being used to its full potential.
Following the success of 2020, Peter and Steve plan to expand their wholesale capabilities.
With larger, more modern equipment Kyle will be able to further improve quality and increase volume.
Last Christmas for example, the store could have sold twice as many hams had they a larger cooker.
Then there’s the infamous double-smoked bacon, produced in 200 kg batches each week and which is in high demand all year round.
The smoker is also used to produce the most flavoursome Kranskys, Lachschinken, smoked beef, fritz and hams.
This team of four are extremely proud of what they have achieved in twelve months and honoured to have adopted such an iconic piece of Barossa history, one which they intend to continue utilising to its full potential.