Arthur Olsen’s Butcher Shop - Front and Centre in Whitianga Shopping Street Corner of Coghill St., and Albert St., Whitianga
By Stan Stewart.
For me, stepping into Arthur Olsen’s Butcher shop was like stepping back in time. In recent years I have seen Butcher shops disappear, one by one from retail hubs. The only one I visit regularly is Lance Corporal Jones on the TV series, Dad’s Army. But Arthur and his butcher shop are alive and well now and in Whitianga to stay.
“I would like to see a butcher shop back in every town centre” says Arthur. “I know the big grocery chains include their own butcher shop but it’s not the same as a dedicated, stand-alone butcher shop!” I must agree. While I was in his premises, his customers came and talked about their meat requirements and Arthur gave them options and advice. You can’t talk with a twenty-metre meat display in a supermarket. You are on your own. On several occasions. for the lack of someone to talk to, I have purchased a meat product which was wrong for the coming meal. I spent the money but bought a meat product which did not suit the menu. Yuk – that can lead to trouble!
I asked him about the increasing number of vegans. Now this is a subject close to our hearts as our adopted daughter is vegan. For her entering Arthur’s shop would be like entering hell’s inferno. “Vegans don’t worry me,” said Arthur. “I have no argument with them”. My philosophy is live and let live” he said. Obviously, there are enough non-vegans in Whitianga to sustain his brisk trade.
He has recently had his butchery workshop refurbished. New arrangements, new equipment, top notch sealants and the latest hygienic surfaces. A non-butcher like me cannot fully appreciate it but to those in the trade it is first rate.
Arthur loves his work. He takes pride in his what he does. Being a butcher is what he wants to do for the rest of his life. He has found his niche in life. The job suits him and he loves it. He’s not about to start another career. This is what he loves to do. This is what he wants to do for the rest of his life. Such clarity is something to be envied. Arthur Olsen your work will grace our tables and delight our taste buds (non-vegans that is) for years to come.
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Caption: Arthur Olsen