Bringing Home the Bacon
It’s been three years to the day that Matakana Bacon Company supplied their first batch of nitrate free and sugar free bacon to the local Matakana Four Square. What started off as a very niche concept to make bacon free of sugar and cancer causing nitrates has now grown into a fully fledged small business supplying all Farro Fresh stores in Auckland, selected New World Supermarkets and Four Squares with bacon that is a healthy alternative to the mass produced varieties.
Since inception they have been operating the business out of the local Matakana Village Butchery working unusual hours so as not to disrupt the day to day workings of the butchery. As co-owner, Steve Charnley says, “It had got to the stage where we had completely outgrown the space we had been operating from and with the Village Butchery growing every year we ended up having to moonlight there in the evenings and on Sundays which wasn’t ideal. When the opportunity came to move into a purpose-built premise right beside the Farmers’ Market we jumped at the chance.”
The new premise were previously the big green shed that was used by Matakana Coffee Roasters and as a storage space. Owner, Richard Didsbury, has completely rebuilt the building from the inside out to create a fantastic food processing space, perfect for a growing business like the Matakana Bacon Company.
“With Matakana Coffee Roasters serving their coffee next door we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to also serve the best bacon butties and bacon and egg baps throughout the morning. We will be open bright and early for people to get their breakfast along with their coffee. It’s a match made in heaven!” says Steve. To help this side of the business operation Steve’s son James will be up every day very early to prepare the takeaway food. James is also very keen to expand the food offerings and will be working on a few innovations over the next few months.
Business partner, and owner of the Village Butchery, Matt Watts will still play an integral role in the business. “Matt will still be busy helping out with some of the butchery work and will also continue producing the Matakana Bacon gluten free, nitrate free sausages that are so popular at the Farmers’ Market every Saturday. In fact, he will be even busier as we intend to grow the sausage side of the business so that we can keep up with the demand. Hopefully, we will be able to supply our sausages every day!”
It’s obvious when talking to Steve he just loves handcrafting a range of bacon that is made from ethically farmed New Zealand pork that contains no harmful ingredients. “Nitrates are what gives bacon such a bad reputation from groups like the World Health Organisation. There is no need for them! We use nature’s preservatives, sea salt, rosemary and sage to produce bacon that truly does love you back.”