Good old-fashioned service arriving with the Mad Butcher

"It'll be good for Taranaki."

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 27/02/2013
tdn meat stand
The Mad Butcher will move into the old Matador Meats building

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The Mad Butcher is carving his way into Taranaki.

"It'll be good for Taranaki. The policy is to buy the best quality and deliver the best price to the market," the original Mad Butcher, Sir Peter Leitch, told the Taranaki Daily News yesterday.

Sir Peter sold the business to his then-chief executive Mike Morton but, as one of the best known personalities in New Zealand, he remains on the payroll to front their advertising campaign.

He might even make it down to open the New Plymouth shop, he said.

It's taken him a long time to set up shop in Taranaki even though he bought all his meat from the Waitara freezing works in the early days.

The New Plymouth shop should be open for business by the middle of the year.

The shop will slot into the old Matador Meats building, originally established by former New Plymouth butcher Pat Scannell.

"Yes, it's Pat's old shop at Matador Meats," Mad Butcher's operation manager Dan Adams confirmed from Auckland yesterday.

In the closeknit world of New Zealand butchery, Mr Adams said he knew Mr Scannell from the time he headed Retail Meat NZ.

In opening up the franchise in Taranaki, the Mad Butcher was answering the call of the region's meatlovers, Mr Adams said.

"We get more emails from New Plymouth and Nelson than anywhere else asking us when we are opening up," he said.

The Mad Butcher had 36 stores nationwide and the intention was to have an additional six to eight by the end of the year - including New Plymouth and Nelson.

The franchise prided itself in being open seven days, from 7am to 7pm and having skilled staff on hand at all times, Mr Adams said.

The aim was to provide the same personal customer service that the local butcher gave in days gone by. This included giving away cocktail sausages and sliced luncheon to the children.

Sir Peter remains the chairman of the Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust, which has raised well over $1 million for charities.

He has good connections with Taranaki and counts "the coach" Steve McKean and rugby league identity Howie Tamati as good friends and says Tamati's mother, Esme, is a very close friend.

While the new shop is good news for the region's meatlovers, New Plymouth's Suzanne Grae store, in Centre City, is one of 19 that will close around the country starting in May.

The retail fashion brand announced the closures, which will affect 100 staff, this week.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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