In this edition of The Producers, we spoke to Hannah Miller, founder of A Lady Butcher.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
I started A Lady Butcher 3 years ago, while working in retail butchery. At that time, I'd been butchering & making charcuterie for 9 years and was shocked when I moved to New Zealand to find that almost all of the cured meats were imported.
NZ has some of the best quality meat I've ever tasted, so it only seemed natural to cure it & intensify those flavours through the drying process. I was making cured meats at home and quickly filling up my boyfriend's (now husband) beer fridge. He encouraged me to get a few chefs to try my meats and it was after their praise that A Lady Butcher was born.
What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
A Lady Butcher is committed to making New Zealand Charcuterie out of the finest ingredients that our country has to offer. We work directly with Kiwi farmers to source Free Range meat that has been ethically and sustainably raised on open pasture and without the use of hormones.
Then, we cure this premium meat with salt and spices from our shores to highlight its natural flavour and achieve optimum tenderness. Purposeful meats for purposeful people.
Our retail range includes:
- New Zealand Lamb Prosciutto (NEW THIS WEEK)
- New Zealand Wagyu Bresaola
- Free Range Coppa
- Free Range Pancetta
- Free Range Lardons
Additionally, we offer a wholesale range to restaurants and bars which includes all cuts of pork and bespoke curing options.
Has there been any recent company news?
On Monday, July 1st, we officially launched the newest addition to our retail range, New Zealand Lamb Prosciutto. This product is a collaboration between A Lady Butcher & Leelands Lamb outside of Invercargill.
Leelands Lamb is a family farm (owned and operated by Bill & Sue French) raising beautiful Southland lamb. Its rich, earthy flavour is perfect for curing and we do so with a mix of fresh rosemary and lemon zest from our garden. The perfect addition to a warm potato salad or as a topping for flatbread with some fresh ricotta.
This month, we are also launching our brand new packaging. We've updated our bags to include each product's story, with information about where each ingredient comes from within New Zealand. Also, cooking instructions, barcode, and information about A Lady Butcher are displayed on the packaging.
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
Definitely! We see our new packaging as a launching pad into more retail locations around New Zealand. People in NZ want more local products - they want to support our local economy, farmers, and entrepreneurs. But
they need to know the story. Why should they spend more on this product from New Zealand than the one next to it from overseas?
This is why are so committed to not only knowing our farmers, but to using Free Range meat and curing ingredients from our shores.
In the past three years, we have operated out of shared kitchen spaces, limiting our production, but next year, we plan to move operations into Behemoth Brewing's new brewpub on Dominion Road. This will give us more production
space and a menu to be the flagship for our products.
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
Our retail range is currently available in speciality food stores nationwide. Moore Wilson's, The Merchant of Taupo, Raw @ Waiheke, The Junction Cheese Shop, C'est Cheese, The Island Grocer, Pembroke Wines & Spirits, Te Puna Deli, and Farro Fresh have all been long-time supporters of A Lady Butcher. Our sales are roughly a 50/50 split between retail and wholesale.
With the expansion of our production space and the addition of the Southland Lamb Prosciutto, we hope to expand our availability nationwide into high-end grocery outlets such as Raeward Fresh, Fresh Choice, New World's Fresh Collective, Mediterranean Foods, and Sabato.