Blue Spur Butchery
13a Ross Place, Lawrence
03 485 9812
Jan Harper has a fair repertoire of stories from her years in the butchery trade.
This Lawrence butcher and businesswoman recalled her first job delivering meat in a Morris Minor van with no brakes. On her first day's delivery, she had about 50 parcels of meat, all wrapped up in brown paper and tied with string. She returned to work to tell her boss that she could not deliver to one particular property as there was a vicious dog who tried to attack her. She later found out it was aged 18 and had no teeth.
Originally from Invercargill, she always wanted to be a butcher or a signwriter Her older brother became a butcher and she started helping out his boss when a staff member was on holiday, and loved it. Another brother also became a butcher.
Jan got an apprenticeship and was among the first female apprentice butchers in New Zealand. She later moved to Australia and worked in butcheries. She learned a lot of good skills from butchers from all over the world.
On her return she worked at Blue Skies Meats, Southland. Always wanting to own her own shop and live in a small town she finally decided to take the plunge. Moving to Lawrence and opening Blue Spur Butchery in 2009, Jan now feels like this is where she is meant to be.
Jan describes her sausages as traditional and old fashioned, with locals commenting that they were like what they remembered from their younger days. She has moved with the times and caters to her customers’ tastes with people preferring food that will cook more quickly. Jan is well known and liked for her processing skills, such as a whole lamb processed into gourmet barbecue cuts.
In Australia, she specialised in fancy window displays, providing an opportunity for creativity.
Her business has been a challenge as well as a dream. Lawrence is a wonderfully supportive community, reminder of days gone by.