The space that holds Berties Butchers has been a butcher shop since 1870. Since then, just four families have owned the space, the most recent being the Ewert family who owned the shop for 45 years until business partners Ali Dunworth, Darren Moncrieff and Jason Gabriel bought the business.
They kept Darren Ewert on as head butcher and created a shop that makes no compromises on provenance and quality. Its major point of difference is that staff cut directly from whole carcasses, which are stored back-of-house.
As well as sausages you’ll find beef from the co-op, Gippsland Natural and the high-end Wuk Wuk beef from Grassvale farm in East Gippsland. All beef is grass-fed and all the meat is free-range. There’s Saltbush lamb from South Australia and pork from Greta Valley near Wangaratta, delivered every Wednesday by Brian the farmer.
There are also shelves stacked with dips, cured meats, interesting wines and jars of chilli, mustards and horseradish.
Out back, a cafe named Little Bertie turns all this great produce into breakfast and lunch. Most of the action is in the rear courtyard, where a smoker sits amid the tables and chairs, slow-cooking pork, beef and lamb (for hot rolls). There are also quiches and salads for your vegetarian friend.
It’s more than a butcher shop here - the building's history is palpable. From the huge framed photograph of Kevin Sheedy and Francis Bourke breaking down meat in the shop the day before the 1974 Grand Final, to the families who have been coming here for generations, it’s the personal service and the effort taken by the team to provide omnivores with sound, ethical choices for their meat that make Berties so special.