News

Butcher makes tough choice to close

CLOSED: With a heavy heart Tender Sprouted Meats owner Rob Cook and his family have decided to close their butcher shop.
CLOSED: With a heavy heart Tender Sprouted Meats owner Rob Cook and his family have decided to close their butcher shop. Contributed

IT IS with a heavy heart that the Cook family has decided to close its butcher shop, Tender Sprouted Meats, after almost two years in business.

Cattle farmer and quadriplegic Rob Cook spoke with the NewsMail after the doors closed on Monday.

Mr Cook said a number of factors contributed to the decision to shut down the retail arm of the company.

Along with high electricity prices, the business was not viable in its Watson St location.

The third-generation farmer said his idea of the company was not profitable, at this stage, in the Bundaberg community.

"I understand people who wear Wrangler jeans don't walk into a Levi store,” he said.

"We are sad to see it go but are not in the position to move the shop.”

Mr Cook said it was too big of a stretch to continue and he and wife Sarah found there was too much pressure on the family.

"We weren't making ends meet with the retail side of things in Bundaberg.

"With the dry, drought conditions we were burning the candle at both ends.

FAMILY FIRST: Lawson, Rob and Braxton Cook prepare feed for the cattle at Tandara. Their butcher shop, Tender Sprouted Meats, has now closed.
FAMILY FIRST: Lawson, Rob and Braxton Cook prepare feed for the cattle at Tandara. Their butcher shop, Tender Sprouted Meats, has now closed. Ben Turnbull BUN020516COOK3

"When it comes down to family we had to make this decision.”

He thanked all his staff, saying manager Shane and his wife Kobie Simpson did a wonderful job trying to sell the product.

He asked customers to be patient while they worked through the logistics.

While it's the end for Tender Sprouted Meats, the Cook family will continue their farming endeavours.

"We are not sure what the future holds, but we are optimistic and when one door closes another opens,” Mr Cook said.

"Retailing our beef was overall the weak link in the chain.

"There will be no more retail sales of our beef.”

The commercial side of the business will focus on fattening the cattle on his Tandara property at South Kolan.

Tender Sprouted Meats is no longer viable.
Tender Sprouted Meats is no longer viable. Eliza Goetze


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