The Old Ways of Butchers and Bakers

When you go grocery shopping do you go to the supermarket for your basics then on to the butcher for meat, the baker for bread etc.? Or do you just do all your shopping at the supermarket?

It’s such a nice idea to support your local butcher and baker and go to them but in reality it’s just so convenient to do it all in one stop. My heart sinks when I see articles like this about a local butcher in Perth just not getting enough business to stay alive, or walk into a shopping centre and see the fruit and veg shop which has been there as long as you can remember, all closed down.

At the shopping centre close to me there is a Leonards (chicken), a very gourmet looking butcher, a bakers delight and a Coles. I’ve bought from Leonards once (Christmas time for a turkey), the rest of the times I go straight to Coles. What a missed opportunity! Is it really that much harder to go to the butcher aswell? We used to, before Coles and Woolworths got all speccy with their bakeries and butchers.

I am happy with my weekly (best case scenario) trip to the farmers market in Kalamunda for my fruit and veg because I know I’m supporting local farmers and getting the best stuff! We really do notice the difference when I don’t go. But I understand how its difficult to even do that, I go so often because its time when Mum and I have together each week, a major added benefit for making the trip.

I know, very well, that I get a much better product if I go to the market or a specialty shop, to the people to which their product is their art. You can ask for what you want also, butchers can make up a rolled roast or the exact type of steak you like, and can help when you don’t know which cut to use for a particular dish.

Think of how wonderful and inspiring our shopping centres would be if we all went to that little bit more effort. Perhaps the standard Bakers Delight and Leonards franchise stores would be accompanied by a marketplace of locally run butchers, preserves, bread, cakes, and fruit and veg.

It’s not likely to happen if we just say that we should. Shopping centres and local businesses need to think of ways to make it easier. Local butchers could offer online shopping and delivery, a company could gather all the local producers together and offer an online service which collects the things you want from different producers for you.

Shopping centres could have a card which you pick up on the way in the shops, you swipe it as you shop and then pay for all your items from all the different places in one transaction. I would love that!

Do you have a butcher or baker who you go to all the time? A baker who greets you by name and hands you your usual sourdough freeform rye loaf cut extra extra thick, without you even saying a word? A butcher who knows that thursday night is lamb chop night at your place? or am I dreaming of a decade ago? Is our laziness and adoration of convenience getting the better of us?