Feb 22, 2012
Feb 20, 2012
At 14 years old, Rob started a part time job in the butchery at his local supermarket, and despite his accountant parents hoping he would join them in their profession, meat was to become his future.
The Remuera butchery was first opened in 1961 and quickly became one of the best in New Zealand but in the last decade, it has had seven owners and had slid almost into obscurity. That is until Rob bought it at the tender age of 21 on 7 July 2010.
He was trained by his previous boss, an older man, who did things properly the way they were once done and that is what he incorporates into his work at The Meat keeper.
Rob has worked closely with some of Auckland’s top chefs to create unique recipes, especially for his handmade sausages which are glutton-free. He also has a unique recipe for smoked chicken, which uses free-range chickens and is preservative and nitrate free. He does all his smoking on the premises.
He has a unique spread of products and is the only retailer in New Zealand who sells Savannah Angus beef, which is a fully mature grass beef with a minimum of one month of maturing.
His aim is to have many ready-to-cook products for busy families, and already stocks several, such as ready-marinated and oiled meat and food parcels wrapped in pastry. His long-term aim is to blur the line between butcher and chef.
He likes to build relationships with his suppliers and is about to go up in a helicopter and fly over the areas where his wild venison comes from. He often visits the chicken farms which supply his chickens and the farm in Pukekohe where he buys his eggs. His suppliers have nothing to hide and welcome his visits.
He thoroughly enjoys working in Remuera because the people are so friendly, quite different from the preconceived idea that people have of them.
His aim in life at this stage, apart from building a business he can be truly proud of, is to work less than 70 hours a week but so far he has failed in the latter.
I can personally recommend you try some of his produce. You can find him at 392 Remuera Rd.
Feb 13, 2012
Lucy Sanders, 22 years old, has worked in the family business full time since October last year but had been on track to a career in horse nutrition. Yes, I didn’t know such a thing existed either, but apparently today you can do a Bachelor of Science majoring in equine science and then specialise further to nutrition. This seemed a natural progression from her lifelong love of horses but she decided some way into her first year that she wasn’t enjoying the studying. After that she worked as a groom for polo horses, which she loved, but is now learning the ins and outs of working in a jewellery shop.
Lucy enjoys the relationships she has built through the shop and loves the food here in Remuera. In particular the Sushi, and the fish and chips from Remuera Fisheries. The last three interviewees have mentioned these fish and chips as their favourite Remuera food so it is probably time for me to go sample them.
When Lucy is not working in the shop, riding her horse or playing with her Huntaway/Staffy/Doberman cross dog, she is currently reading A History of 9/11 but her favourite book is the last Harry Potter. Her favourite movie is Red Dog but also loves the Harry Potter movies, of course.
Although Lucy makes goals, she has never made a New Year’s resolution, which is probably a good thing since most of us have broken them by now and are in the process of beating ourselves up about our lack of willpower.
Lucy’s philosophy on life at 22 is not to sweat the small stuff. It’s an ambitious but worthy motto to carry with her through life and I wish her well.
If you wish to see some of their fabulous jewellery, drop in at one of their shops at either 385 Remuera Rd or 5 St Heliers Bay Rd. You could also have a look at their website: http://www.sandersjewellers.co.nz/
Feb 10, 2012
Feb 8, 2012
If you have dropped into this large and comprehensive bookstore to buy a book, a card, a gift or a toy, you will have seen Nava behind the counter. He bought Wheelers at the beginning of May last year after a long career as a project manager/engineer in the oil and gas industry both here and in Malaysia, his home country. He transported his family here in 2007 to make sure his three children got a good education. In fact, his oldest boy is now studying computer science at AUT, while his sister is studying medicine in Romania (don’t ask)and the youngest has just applied to study bioengineering at the university here in Auckland.
The idea with buying Wheelers was to slide into retirement with a less stressful job. Not that being a business owner is stress free but it’s a different type of stress and he enjoys having to answer only to himself for his decisions. A bookshop in Remuera brought together his desire to work in a crime-free area and his interest in books. He loves crime novels and is currently reading 11-22-69 by Stephen King. As he thought, Remuera has turned out to be a peaceful place to work and the people here are very supportive. In return he likes to support new authors with their first books. He recently accepted an autobiography called “Young Man Go South” written by a Remuera author, Hans Swier, and it is selling well.
When I asked him what his favourite movie was, he was embarrassed to say, The Hulk. He has watched both the television series and the movie. He enjoys the main character because of the humility he expresses despite his super powers. I suspect this humility is a part of Nava’s character as well, though I’m not sure about his having super powers.
Nava no longer makes New Year’s resolutions because they are too difficult to keep but he did keep one back in the year 2000. He decided to stop smoking despite having a 50-cigarette-a-day habit and stopped cold-turkey. He never had another. This shows the strength of character of this gentle man whose philosophy on life is to take one day at a time. “We are not permanent,” he says.
If you need a great book to read, do drop in at Wheelers at 395 Remuera Rd and say hi to Nava. He will happily help you with your purchase. Or you could go online and look the shop up here on the website, which is presently receiving a facelift: www.wheelersbooks.co.nz
Feb 2, 2012
Shortage of housing at 4-year high.