PUSHED TO THE WALL: Grant Spresser is on the verge of having to close his butchery, Meat at Chancellor.
PUSHED TO THE WALL: Grant Spresser is on the verge of having to close his butchery, Meat at Chancellor. John McCutcheon

Butcher needs 30 customers to spend $30 a day to stay open

CHANCELLOR PARK butcher Grant Spresser went home on Thursday night and cried.

He has worked six days a week for the last 15 months without drawing a wage just to keep the doors of his business, Meat at Chancellor, open and cannot do it much longer.

If his trade does not improve in the next few days, the store could shut its doors next Friday, which would make it the second independent butcher shop on the Coast close in as the space of two weeks.

Sun City Meats, at Coolum closed last weekend, with owner Mick McGlusky saying the business had become unsustainable because of the dominance of major supermarkets.

Mr Spresser, who turned to social media pleading for customer support, said it was a tough business that had been even tougher in the last six months.

"It's always been up and down, we have a good week and we have a bad week. it's all to do with the family budget and they're doing it hard, the same as everywhere else, but this year, we've been feeling it worse than every before," he said.

Mr Spresser bought the shop 15 months ago because it was his and his wife's dream to live on the Sunshine Coast and run a business.

The couple and their 20 month old son have been living off the wage his wife makes driving 150km and back to work every day.

He said he needed 50 to 60 customers to spend $30 a day if he was to ever make a living out of the shop, and 30 a day to keep it open.

"Generally, we make enough money to cover the rent and incomings and pay the wage for an apprentice. This week, we'll be tapping into the wife's bank account to pay the apprentice," he said.

Besides the impact of major supermarkets, Mr Spresser has had to contend with the added problem of parking difficulties at the Scholars Dve shopping centre.

The carpark is often full at the centre, which is close to the Chancellor Park school and within walking distance of the University of the Sunshine Coast, which has paid parking.

He has done everything he can think of to overcome the problem, even offering free home deliveries to people in the area.

Mr Spresser said he was not trying to get rich, just survive, but it was looking increasingly likely that he would have to close and find a job.

"As long as we can keep the apprentice employed and meet the incoming costs of keeping product on the shelves, as far as we're concerned, we're living the dream," he said.

"But at the moment, with each week that goes by, we're getting further and further behind. At some point, you have to draw a line in the sand and close the doors.

"I can't keep racking up the amount of debt that I'm racking up to try and keep the doors open."

The situation is so dire for independent butchers that one told the Daily he knew of four stores on the Coast that were likely to close in the next month.