Why this butcher swapped chicken for dogs
A DECISION to start offering fresh pet food has led to former chicken shop manager, Keith Whyte, selling pet food full time.
Until two week's ago Mr Whyte ran an independent chicken shop called Field Bird at Orion Springfield Central, before that he was a Leonard's franchisee.
"Orion approached me when I had Leonards last year and offered a casual lease," he said.
It was then he took the opportunity to stop franchising and work for himself.
But business at the store located near Woolworths didn't pick up.
"It's very much an impulse buy," Mr Whyte said of the retail chicken butcher business.
"We just broke even."
But the pet mince business on the side was doing well, leading him to change his focus.
He was offering chicken frames left over from the Orion business as well as chicken mince and bones to pick up at locations around the Ipswich region.
"It took off. It's a massive market - raw pet food without preservatives."
Mr Whyte said raw, fresh food was better for your pet's health.
"I would never feed dog roll to my dog," he said.
"Even the fresh lines at (major supermarkets) have preservatives and are full of rubbish."
Now a shop front for Pet Mince Direct has opened on the Warrego Hwy at Plainlands.
And customers are still able to pick up from North Ipswich and Fernvale.
Pet Mince Direct now offers chicken, beef and roo mince, bones and treats and even stocks high end "holistic" dry pet food.
You can also get lamb and pork bones, fish fillets and turkey necks.
The shop is open from Tuesday to Saturday, phone 0490 894 707 or find them on Facebook.
See more business news in Tuesday's QT Better Business section.