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End of an era as Toowoomba butchers sell business

New owners of Paynes Meat Store, Terrence and Roger Ellison celebrate the hand over from Jacqui and Rob Payne.
New owners of Paynes Meat Store, Terrence and Roger Ellison celebrate the hand over from Jacqui and Rob Payne. Nev Madsen

A 98-YEAR butchery dynasty will come to an end tomorrow when Rob and Jacqui Payne walk out of their Hume St shop.

They will retire after selling Payne's Meat Store to former employee Terrence Ellison, his dad Roger Ellison and their families.

Mr Payne was confident the Ellisons would maintain the high quality product and service to which he had dedicated his past 44 years.

Terrence assured his old bosses and their customers that nothing about the way the store operated would change.

But Mr Payne and his wife were still emotional about the move.

Historical photos from Paynes Meat Store in Toowoomba .
Historical photos from Paynes Meat Store in Toowoomba .

With their retirement comes the end of four generations of butchery shop ownership on the Darling Downs for Mr Payne's family.

His great grandfather William Hurley bought a butcher shop in Cooyar in 1917 with the family business moving to Oakey before heading to Toowoomba locations at Taylor St, Ruthven St and Hume St.

Mr Payne, 57, said he could remember finishing his last day of Year 10 at Harristown State High School in 1971.

"I finished school at 2pm and I was here by half past," he said.

"I've been here ever since."

He noted changes in the profession.

Historical photos from Paynes Meat Store in Toowoomba .
Historical photos from Paynes Meat Store in Toowoomba .

"When I first started, there were still wood blocks; there was sawdust on the floor; there was not flash refrigeration as you would call it.

"Now everything is totally refrigerated, you have got to check temperatures and (it) is a lot stricter in that regard.

He and Mrs Payne said they would miss their loyal customers.

"I treat every customer as a friend and I try to make sure they get exactly what they wanted," Mr Payne said.

"I think that is the secret in business."

Historical photos from Paynes Meat Store in Toowoomba .
Historical photos from Paynes Meat Store in Toowoomba .

Maintaining the shop's good name was Terrence's main aim.

He was excited about taking on the venture with wife Jessica and parents Roger and Gayle.

"It is where butchery should be," Terrence said.

"My idea is not to change a thing."

Family tradition

  • 1917- William Hurley buys butcher shop in Cooyar
  • 1929- His son Robert and wife Maud continue the business at Taylor St
  • 1962- Robert's daughter Gloria and her husband Albert Payne join the business
  • 1971- Their son Rob begins working full-time.
  • 1980- Rob and Jacqui Payne enter partnership with Albert and Gloria
  • 1999- Gloria and Albert retire

Topics:  business butchers toowoomba


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