Anthony Puharich, the fifth-generation butcher who pioneered premium meat retail with his Victor Churchill shops in Sydney and Melbourne, spent years working on a long-term vision for its sister brand, Vic’s Meat. And he wanted to start executing that vision with Vic’s flagship, at the new Sydney Fish Market. But, as we know, the long-awaited redevelopment of the markets has been protracted to say the least.

“I had this brand new concept and design for a Vic’s refresh and rebrand that was supposed to be for the fish market, but it had just been dragging on,” Puharich says. “So the delays we’ve had there have been the fish market’s loss and Chatswood’s gain.”

So, for now, if you’d like to go and see what Puharich calls “boldly, what I believe to be the future of meat retailing in five to 10 years”, you’re going to want to head to the new Vic’s Meat shop at Chatswood Chase. It’s a beautiful space that looks modern while nodding to classic butcher shop aesthetics (red motifs, traditional white tiling).

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At first glance, it looks like a standard butcher – with all the steaks, sausages and mince you could hope for. But Puharich is most excited about what you’ll find outside of the cabinets, on the shelves and in the shop’s fridges and freezers.

“I come from a very proud family of multigenerational butchers, so quality fresh meat is always going to be a big part of our offering,” Puharich says. “But the big evolution for us is to step more into the ready-to-eat category.”

According to Puharich, butchers have been doing value-add products for decades, whether that’s shaping burger patties, marinating lamb or crumbing a chicken schnitzel.

“This is just evolving beyond that, so we’ve got a whole range of meal kits and heat-and-eat meals.”

At Vic’s Chatswood you’ll find everything from lasagnes, pork buns and Wagyu-cheeseburger spring rolls, to parmie and burger meal kits (even a Chaco Ramen-collaboration ramen kit). Plus a wide variety of condiments, sauces and smallgoods, which means that a surprising amount of your weekly shop – not just the meat – can happen at this butcher.

“As much as we love cooking and grilling and all that sort of stuff, you don’t always have the time to slave over a stove for hours to prepare a delicious meal,” Puharich says. “This gives you that convenience without compromising on quality.”

Like any good butcher, Vic’s Chatswood is tailoring its offering to the area’s appetites – here on the lower north shore, that means meat for hotpot, yakiniku and Korean barbeque. You’ll find plenty of cuts, from short rib to thinly sliced shabu shabu-ready beef. Having made the eastern suburbs the brand’s stomping ground for years, Puharich is enjoying his expansion north of the bridge.

“We’ve been really well received here, which has been so nice – it’s great to finally have a footprint up here.”

Vic’s Chatswood

Shop B-005 (Lower Ground Floor), 345 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood

Hours
Mon to Thu 9.30am–5.30pm
Friday 9.30am–5pm
Saturday 9am–5pm

Sunday 10am–5pm

vicsmeat.com.au/