Store will be a CQ first
A BUTCHER has had his long-held dreams realised after securing thousands of dollars worth of funding from the State Government.
Thanks to a grant from the Rural Economic Development Grants Scheme of more than $217,000, Fair Dinkum Meats managing director Jason O'Loughlin will soon open a boutique produce supermarket and smokehouse in Emerald.
The primary focus of the new store - which will create 48 direct and indirect jobs - will be producing locally cured hams and bacon, and fresh fruit and vegetables.
"(I've) always wanted to do a small goods' (bacon and ham) factory and we don't have any of that sort of thing around here, so there's a huge market for good, Australian products,” Mr O'Loughlin said.
"The biggest complaint we get is that people can't get decent fruit and vegies to go with the meat we've got - they go there (local supermarkets) and it's not always the best of quality or fresh or Australian.
"I think with the fruit and vegies thing going forward, it will create a whole industry for fruit and vegies getting grown locally. That's what I foresee.”
Mr O'Loughlin said customers had told him they were "really looking forward” to the venture, which would be housed at a new 700 square metre location at The Village shopping centre.
"It will be something that Central Queensland hasn't really seen before,” he said.
Depending on finance, Mr O'Loughlin hoped the store would be open in some capacity before Christmas.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Fair Dinkum Meats was one of 15 businesses in Queensland to receive a Rural Economic Development Grant to help fund business expansion and create job growth in regional areas.
"This program represents the Palaszczuk Government investing in regional jobs now and for the future,” Mr Furner said. "By supporting regional businesses today we are helping them expand and growing our economy for the future.”
For more information about the RED Grant scheme visit qrida.qld.gov.au