Member snapshot – Anthony Francis from Kooringal Butchery
Local butcher Anthony Francis has been wielding the knives since the 1970s.
Taking on an apprenticeship with Knights Meats in 1974, Anthony said he learned much from the many butchers he worked with.
“It was a good place and they were good people to work for.
“We learned a lot because there were a lot of Sydney and Melbourne butchers coming through. I think you learn something from everyone you work with. It was just great watching that place grow.”
After a stint operating milk trucks, Anthony opened at Kooringal Mall in November 1984. He now operates the business with partner John Daniher.
“When I came here, it was just my then partner Jeff Chisholm and I. Back then it would be 5am starts and 6pm finishes and sometimes we’d be back here at 10pm making sausages.
“The days aren’t as long now because over the years I’ve built up the staff. That’s the funny thing about business: if you haven’t got it up to that height, the manual work in these businesses is enormous. Now we have eight full-time staff and we’ve got a bookkeeper and some young fellas who come in to wash up after work.”
Over the years, Anthony has seen many changes to consumer habits.
“There’s a lot more value added products in butchery now. When I first started back in the 70s there was chops, steak and sausages. Now we do a lot of gourmet products and a lot more chicken. When I worked in the 70s, we’d sell two chickens a week. Now we sell hundreds.
“A lot of our customers call in here on their way home from work at 5.30 and they just want to go home and put something on that’s prepared.
“The main thing is quality. Even when meat’s dear – and it’s got a lot dearer than it was – you can’t go find the cheaper cuts; you’ve got to have the quality. That’s what we’ve always worked on.”
Interestingly, he sees the big supermarket chains as good for business.
“You’ve either got to be next to a Coles or Woolworths. The further you are away, the harder it would be I’d say. We feed off their foot traffic. I’d like to be closer to Woolworths!”
For Anthony, supporting Committee 4 Wagga is a no-brainer.
“I couldn’t imagine a city like this without an organisation like Committee 4 Wagga.
“The prosperity of the city is important to all of us and I think Committee 4 Wagga is a voice for that. I really feel like that voice represents me as a business person.
“Everything they’ve done is for the good of Wagga. I’ve got children here, I’ve got grandchildren here, and I want the city to prosper.”