A pair of Dunedin friends have united to unchain their creativity in a new food shop venture in the central city.
Princes Street Butcher and Kitchen managing director Dave Gibson, of Dunedin, said after he finished an 11-year stint as a regional sales manager at beverage company Frucor in April, he went travelling.
He visited Australia and Europe on the three-month trip and was inspired by the food retail scene.
On returning home, he and friend Greg Egerton, a butcher, opened Princes Street Butcher and Kitchen in central Dunedin late last month.
The business had been performing better than expected, which allowed both of them to concentrate on what they enjoyed about their work, Mr Gibson said.
“We are working together, doing what we love doing,” he said.
Mr Egerton said he and Mr Gibson met through mutual friends on annual trips to watch national sevens tournaments in Queenstown and bonded over a mutual appreciation of 1980s music.
“A bit of Wham! never hurt anyone.”
Mr Gibson said when he returned to Dunedin all fired up and then Mr Egerton won the Butcher of the Year title in August, the time was right to open a business.
Their group of friends held regular dinner parties in Dunedin and guests often asked why they had not put their skills towards running their own business.
He worked as a chef after leaving school and Mr Egerton worked as a butcher at a chain butchery store and supermarkets, Mr Gibson said.
Mr Egerton said Mr Gibson’s business skills allowed him the time he needed to be creative.
“I’ve always had a creative mind and this has been the best thing that’s ever happened – I’ve never been happier to have my own space.”
His creativity was often restricted, as chain stores were more interested in profit margin than the products being created, Mr Egerton said.
When The Star visited the new shop last week, the products on sale included a pie topped with crispy seasoned chicken skin and meat products such as flat-iron steaks and Bombay chicken cushions.
Mr Gibson said they used ingredients sourced from various Dunedin businesses, such as seasoning from Wild Fennel Co to make curry, caraway and coconut beef sausages and spices from Hammerhead Foods to put in pies.
Mr Gibson said the neighbourhood was a great location for the business as it had plenty of foot traffic and free parking.
“This is a fantastic location for shop-ability.”
He hoped the Dunedin City Council would invest in improving the area to help transform it into a food shopping precinct.