Man in red checked shirt and baseball cap stands in front of butchers window

Customer satisfaction, home kill service and good quality meat is what Darfield’s newest butchery takes pride in.

The store was opened by Blair Wards in April last year in place of a previous butchers that closed in December 2018.

Blair spent his youth in West Melton, then travelled to America to play rugby and rugby league, later meeting his wife.

The family moved back to New Zealand in January 2018 for their kids to grow up in a better place, choosing Darfield where Blair, who has 30 years’ experience as a butcher decided to take a chance on the closed store.

“The opportunity arose and I thought there was a need for a butcher shop there. It’s probably been more work than I anticipated,” Blair laughs.

One of the few butchers in the area, Darfield Village Meats have a range of meat from grass-fed beef to pasture raised pork and lamb and specialising in Home Kill where farmers can send their livestock to be processed.

Receiving positive customer feedback is what Blair enjoys most about the business.

“Not everybody takes the time out to give you positive feedback and when you get those customers that make that effort to come in and say, those sausages are some of the best we’ve had, that’s what makes it worthwhile.”

On April 1 Darfield Village Meats would have celebrated twelve months of being open, but they were shut because of lockdown.

Blair says what kept Darfield Village Meats running during lockdown was supplying to the Ellesmere Food Bank, their Home Kill service, picking up new customers during level three deliveries and support from the local Selwyn community.

Darfield Village Meats is very active in the Selwyn community, supporting several local sports clubs and events, offering meat discounts and supplying sausages for BBQs.

Blair and his family also rally around supporting local businesses which he says is crucial for the survival of a community.

“If you don’t rally around these local businesses, like the local pubs, fish and chip shops and bakeries, they’ll just dissolve.”