Mt Annan butcher Rob Mills is a bit of a character.
“I think I am well known for my crumbed chicken,’’ he says.
“Not as many spices as KFC, but just as nice!’’
All I did was ask him what his speciality is; what his customers keep coming back for more at his popular butcher shop, Mt Annan Quality Meats.
Mills did a butcher’s apprenticeship at Raby and then Camden when he was just 16 years old, and I ask him why.
“I was young and dumb,’’ he fires back and then adds: “Everyone was saying, no, no, no, don’t do it, but I fell into it and it’s been pretty good ever since.’’
Just seven years after starting the apprenticeship, at the age of 23, Rob Mills opened his own butcher’s shop with a partner at Southgate in Sylvania.
He came back to the Camden district and has been here for the past 20 years – 10 of them at Mt Annan.
Everybody knows traditional butchers are going through tough times, but for the ones who have survived so far business is good.
Rob Mills, who’s been in the game for 31 years, says three major factors are important: price, quality and service.
“Price is the key to everything – if the price is right people will look at it and if it’s right they will buy it,’’ he says.
“When it comes to the quality of the meat we sell, well, it’s quality, quality, quality – you must be able to eat it at the end of the day.’’
There’s a team of eight people, making Mt Annan Quality Meats a big small business.
As for the boss, for the time being he’s happy to be still practising his trade.
Final question Mr Mills, how do you relax; do you have any hobbies, like golf?
“No, I don’t play golf, my hobbies are going to the farm and attending council meetings,’’ he says
It’s true that he got elected to Camden Council almost three years ago, but I am not sure he really thinks attending council meetings is a hobby.
As for me, I make a note to buy some crumbed chicken from him next time I am around Mt Annan.