Raised in fertile Far North Queensland, Butcher Crowd founders Rob and Damien Moffatt were always surrounded by farm-fresh produce.
“We grew up on the Atherton Tablelands and we had access to our family farm,” Rob says. “We had fresh eggs, fresh meat, we had access to the Great Barrier Reef and there was always wild-caught fish and prawns.”
As adults, the brothers were working as airline pilots before being grounded by Covid in early 2020. With friends struggling to find fresh meat as supply chains froze, the two turned back to their homeland.
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“We had 30 families posting on a Whatsapp group – all colleagues from the airline industry – that couldn’t get fresh meat,” Rob says. “We had family on the Tablelands and we managed to get hold of four steers, had them butchered up and divvied out to people at a fraction of the [normal] price and got everyone fed through the meat shortages.”
Now, the Moffatts have parlayed this initial act of goodwill into a meat and seafood subscription service, Butcher Crowd, that matches the quality you’d find at a specialist butcher or fishmonger. Wild-caught salmon is imported from Canada, but everything else is sourced from ethically-minded wholesalers across Australia: beef from Tasmania and Victoria, chicken from SA and wild-caught seafood from North Queensland.
“We have a list of criteria,” says Rob. “It has to be 100 per cent grass fed, grass finished, it has to be pasture raised – not free-range because there’s a big difference – no antibiotics, no hormones, it has to be from a sustainable fishery zone.”
It works like this: you choose a small or large box. The former feeds two to three people for a month, the latter four to five people. Then you’re presented with a few dozen products and you get to build a box to suit your exact tastes. If you love prawns and barramundi, you can build an entire box around them. If you love a steak, go nuts on porterhouses, brisket, scotch fillet and more. There’s also beef mince, various cuts of chicken, nitrate-free bacon, pork chops and plenty besides. Boxes can be ordered as a once-off from $179, or you can subscribe to get the same box for $159 every month ($37 a week).
If you’re a simple, no-fuss kind of person, there are also curated boxes that remove all the decision-making for you. There’s a value box (“It’s got the basic staples that people would cook with every month like beef mince, diced steak, you get some sausages, rump steaks, chicken thighs and drumsticks,” Rob says.) The most popular pack, though, is the salmon box.
“In Australia, all our salmon is farmed and there’s actually a big shift that people want wild-caught seafood,” Rob says. “The salmon is 100 per cent wild Canadian sockeye salmon which is very hard to get in Australia.”
And for a limited time, Broadsheet readers can get eight free packs of premium beef mince with their first three boxes. Sign up for a Butcher Crowd subscription and use the code XBROADSHEETMM to get up to 20 free meals.
This story was originally published on November 22, 2022. It has since been updated with new offer details.
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