Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants have made a name supplying ethically raised, sustainable meat, where the whole animal is used and nothing wasted. Andy Fenner tells us about their new Woodstock headquarters.
As with a lot of ideas, it was borne out of necessity. Nicole and I opened the original space in Metal Lane, Kloof Street because we could not find anywhere offering the kind of meat we wanted to eat. I had read a series of books regarding the agriculture industry, which shook me up to the point that I refused to eat meat unless people could tell me where it came from. Nobody could.
Why did you choose this area for your business?
We needed a headquarters where we could take deliveries, process carcasses and distribute. It is a depot but we didn’t want it to feel like one. Industrial areas like Killarney, Epping, Paarden Eiland would mean losing touch with what we were doing. I never want to be a factory operation.
How did you find your premises?
It was a long, long, long process. The building wasn’t actually on the market but we had a feeling the previous tenants “wanted out” so we started poking around. Luckily our timing was spot on.
This building allows us to display the meat in an aesthetically-pleasing way and showcase the process by displaying the coldroom, the butchers working with knives, saws, cleavers etc. Instead of trying to hide or disguise this, we do exactly the opposite, by highlighting it. We have been able to tack on a small retail store to the building. That’s a really big deal, as we are trying to promote the neighbourhood butchery. With the gentrification of Woodstock, we have seen a substantial amount of retail trade from residents, and people working within walking distance.
Who are your neighbours?
The Palms shopping centre is our immediate neighbor and nearby are Ogilvy & Mather, The Kitchen, Corner Store clothing store and Flat Mountain Roasters.
What are the rental/sales prices like in this area?
Prices in Woodstock are starting to creep up. That said, it’s way more affordable than town. And being able to combine a retail offering offsets the premium.
What is your shop footprint?
Fridays and Saturdays are our busiest times for retail. This facility is getting the reputation as a place to come and hang out for a while, chat to the butchers, grab a sandwich. I want it to be the modern day barbershop.
We do. The model hopefully allows us to set up one or two satellite retail outlets in 2017, supplied by the Woodstock facility.
Do you operate online as well?
Yes. We deliver too.
What’s your most popular item?
We have sold three products literally every single day since we opened six years ago. Biltong, hamburger patties and coffee.
081 316 9251
Words: Kit Heathcock | Images: Supplied