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TAS Country : April 14th 2011
ril 15, 2011 17 WORTH IT: Dennis Palmer and Janine Palmer relieve the stress on their Heathcote Farm at Tunnack. Picture: JENNIFER CRAWLEY We're a family, Janine and I, our son helps us out, we know everyone, we deliver to them, we don't just deliver meat. we pick up the carrots at the supermarket on the way.' leg of a glorious run STUNNERS: Almost all the lamb at Jacobson's comes from the Palmer property at Tunnack. There will be no butchers in the North Hobart strip when Jacobson's closes. ''When I first started there were four butcher shops in North Hobart,'' Dennis said. ''It's been a good business, especially with the farm.'' Dennis will sell his sheep to the markets and some butchers. ''We are fairly well known for it and got a good reputation for lambs in particular,'' he said. Dennis decided to close after the owner of the building would not renew his lease. The Palmers decided not to take up the offer of another shop from a customer who did not want to see them close. ''They need a butcher in the community,'' Dennis said. ''It's not really just a business, it's a service to the community. ''We're a family, Janine and I, our son helps us out, we know everyone, we deliver to them, we don't just deliver meat. we pick up the carrots at the supermarket on the way.'' Customers coming to the shop for 32 years are ''pretty much gobsmacked'', Dennis said. ''Their first reaction is 'where am I going to get my meat from, it won't be as good as yours'. ''People come to us because they can get exactly what they want. It's not prepacked. If they want one bit or five, they can choose. People don't go into butcher shops for prepacked meat.'' The major supermarkets were ruthless when they first came to the area, Dennis said. ''In the beginning they were terrible. They used to come down in their uniforms writing my prices down out of the window and going back. ''They were doing price checks on us two or three times a week. ''Fortunately, I never let it bother me. I always had it clear in mind that if I stick to quality meat and good service I'll last. It's not hard to do. There's no shortcuts to take, you make a good product, you know what's in it, you do it all yourself, you know all about it and people buy it with confidence and come back for it.'' The couple will have a couple of months off to clear their minds. ''It's not retirement,'' Dennis said. ''I will be slowing down a bit, enjoying life a bit more.' They have put cabbages in this year under contract and have just built a big dam. North Hobart is a colourful place for a butcher shop, Dennis said. ''There's all sorts of characters here, we've had some interesting moments, there's no doubt about that.'' Two blind elderly sisters were regular customers at Jacobson's. They would lead each other into the shop, Dennis said. ''They were shockers, they used to come in and pee on the floor. And I was the boy then so I had to get the mop.'' Miss Watson was another notorious spinster, remembered for all her cats. Dennis's first delivery was to her house. ''There was a goat standing in the kitchen with his head in the stove and there were about 300 chooks in there,'' Deliveries are free at Jacobson's and it is one of the few places left in Hobart that sells marrow bones for dogs --- because of the Palmers cattle. Customers can get their steak cut as thick or thin as they like. Dennis has just cut up two 20kg Heathcote lambs into legs, chops and cutlets. ''Stunners they are,'' he said. ''I'll roll the forequarters and season them.'' Dennis said it was not hard to cook one of his legs of lamb. ''You cook it at 160C for four hours and it will fall off the bone when you are picking it up out of the baking dish,'' he said. ''We used to know these things. Our mothers, our grandmothers could tell us. It's just that people got too busy, too lazy and in too big a hurry. ''Cook it properly and it will eat properly.'' Dennis and Janine work together in the shop and on the farm. They appear to enjoy each others company. ''If she does what I tell her, it's all right,'' Dennis said. ''If he does what I tell him, it's all right,'' Janine said. Dennis and Janine said they are looking forward to Easter when they will get the rest of their lives off. ''It's a bit scary at times,'' Janine said. ''We've been there for so long then all of a sudden you stop.'' And Dennis's advice for his loyal customers . . . ''Go and find a butcher that needs your business. He will look after you and you look after him and you've got the deal sewn up, haven't you?''
April 7th 2011
April 21st 2011