Company Profile 2011
Vic’s Premium Quality Meat started in 1996 as a small butcher shop on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst, Sydney and was operated by Anthony and his father, Victor.
After graduating with a degree in Finance and Commerce and working with Bankers Trust, Anthony and his father joined forces to start a butcher business (focusing on quality produce) which went onto service retail customers and also the top restaurants in Sydney. Anthony still talks of his decision today to focus the business towards the food service market after a fortunate meeting with Dietmar Sawyere.For three months, Anthony would go up 41 floors in a lift to Level 41 Restaurant in Sydney’s Chifley Tower to make a delivery to Chef and Owner Dietmar. The delivery consisted of 60kg of chicken bones for stock. It took time, patience and perseverance but one day, Dietmar stopped Anthony in the kitchen and asked if they sold anything else. It started from there.
Throughout the late 1990’s in Sydney, retailing meat had become quite a challenge. It was at this point that Vic and Anthony decided that they either needed to get bigger and better or leave the retail meat industry.
Getting bigger required a willingness to change and invest. In 1999, Vic’s Premium Quality Meat moved to a new purpose-built building in Mascot, with state-of-the-art cool rooms, cutting floors and packing rooms, as well as a dedicated dry-age beef room, for specialist beef products for restaurants. Another nearby building was purchased in 2003 and developed for storing and wholesaling carton meat.
Vic’s Premium Quality Meat has since become Australia’s leading distributor of grass and grain-fed beef, F1 Wagyu and also the distributor of Castricum Export Lamb from Gippsland in Victoria, sole distributor of Security Foods Kurobuta Pork, Wagyu and exclusive distributor for the world renowned Blackmore Full Blood Wagyu.
Vic’s Premium Quality Meat began servicing Melbourne’s leading restaurants in 2005 and a year later launched their website and on-line shopping facility to supply restaurant quality meat to retail customers. In 2007, the Year of the Golden Pig, Vic’s Premium Quality Meat opened in Shanghai.
Vic’s Premium Quality Meat has won a number of awards, including Outstanding Supplier in the 2007 VE + T Audi Produce Awards and the 2008 Interactive Media Awards (IMA) - Outstainding Achievement; And in 2007 Victor Puharich was inducted into the (sydney) magazine Food Hall of Fame. Vic’s Premium Quality Meats has also been featured in articles in The Bulletin, Gourmet Traveller Magazine, the Good Living section of The Sydney Morning Herald and the ANZ Bank’s In Business Magazine.
Anthony Puharich is firm in stating that Vic’s Premium Quality Meat will not become a business solely reliant upon turnover, instead continuing to offer boutique customer service tailored to its customers in each of the cities it operates in. This belief recognises the value of the Puharich family’s heritage and the opportunities that lie ahead.
In December 2009, the ‘Ask the Butcher’ iPhone app was released on iTunes. Ask the Butcher reached number one on the Top Paid Lifestyle Applications, it also won the ‘Commercial Creativity Award’ (as awarded by Anthill Magazine) and was featured in Apple’s Staff Favourites, New & Noteworthy and What’s Hot sections on iTunes.
The opening of Victor Churchill in August 2009 was just another step towards fulfilling the dream to return to retailing meat, “Victor Churchill is a destination for those foodies who want the whole package ? A state-of-the-art fit-out, the best quality meat, knowledgeable butchers and reputable hospitality professionals who understand fine food,” enthuses Anthony.
Victor Churchill has recently won a number of awards, including The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Shopping Guide 2011, Best Retail Experience, Best Butcher and Poulterer and Best Takeaway. The store also won ‘Best in Retail’ at the 2010 Interior Design, Best of Year (BoY) award in New York, an internationally acclaimed award which is highly coveted by interior designers across the globe; The overall ‘Premier Award for Interior Design Excellence and Innovation’ (as awarded by the Australian Interior Design Awards); The MasterBuilders Association Award for best retail fit out and the Victor Churhchill website won ‘Best in Class’ at the 2009 Interactive Media Awards.