Dan Klink can thank his Mum for pushing him into butchery at 16 years old. He’d wanted to be a chef but promised his folks one summer among the meat and knives – and he loved it. Dan sped through his apprenticeship and worked abroad to fine-tune his skills. Eventually he joined his parents to run the Mangawhai Meat Shop, taking over ownership in 2012. It’s not all blood and guts in the industry, there’s a touch of glitz and glamour. The Young Butcher of the Year Competition is a great example. In the Upper North regional category, Dan took out top spot. “I was a small fish in a large pond, the only independent butcher among a room of supermarket giants.” Next up, the grand finals, working with several proteins - beef, chicken, pork and lamb, while judges, media and public looked on.
Dan walked away with runner-up – an incredible moment, cementing years of hard work. Dan says, “Butchery is a tough old boys network to crack. This award has given me a nudge up, it’s been insane for our business. But I don’t really do it for the awards; I enjoy the diversity of each day. Prepping begins at 5am. People shop with their eyes, so by laying products out creatively we make it more of a deli than just a butchery. Our customers are fantastic, and the shop is always buzzing with interesting people.”
A boutique butchery maybe, but Dan’s now attracting attention from the likes of Simon Gault, supplying his popular ‘Sous Chef’ store in Auckland with a range of his best-selling sausages. With the onslaught of summer, Dan’s gearing up for BBQ fever – last season 2.5 tonnes of bangers flew out the door.
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