A new paddock to plate business aptly named The Paddock will soon showcase some of the finest produce the Toowoomba region has to offer.
The Ellison family's new venture will bring together fresh produce from farms within 200km of the storefront, including from their own property at Pittsworth, with the newly-completed butcher shop and drive through making "home-grown" a priority.
The family is no stranger to the butcher trade, having owned two butcher shops in the region for several years, and this is where they saw an ever-increasing demand from customers to buy locally-sourced, chemical-free, pasture-fed meat.
"Growing up on the land, we were taught from a young age the importance of knowing where our food comes from," said Terrence Ellison, manager of The Paddock.
"And over the last few years, it seems our customers are really starting to question the provenance of their food also and are starting to look to local supply chains first."
Last year, the Ellisons made the decision to find a dedicated premises to grow and expand their business and re-brand into a larger, more convenient retail space.
"Since finding our new premises, which is situated in the old Delacy's Hotel site, we have worked tirelessly to bring The Paddock to life," Terrence said.
"We are committed to supporting local farmers for generations to come and The Paddock will be a space where we can throw the spotlight on what is grown locally; it will be a step in the right direction to support other producers.
"We want to inspire our customers and the community to know and understand the origin and value of their locally-grown food."
Chemical-free, ethically-raised and pasture-fed beef, pork, lamb and chicken will be available at The Paddock, in what will be one of Toowoomba's largest meat and produce showrooms.
In a unique collaboration with other local farmers, customers will also find fresh, locally-grown fruit and vegetables, as well as local eggs and bread on offer.
Stage two of The Paddock will include The Smokehouse, offering take-away, ready-cooked smoked briskets, wings and ribs which the team plan to create in their specially-crafted upright smokehouse.
Understanding the origin
Moving to the Darling Downs from the Blackall region more than 10 years ago, the Ellison family have a long history of grazing cattle and dairy farming.
These days, they run cattle at their Pittsworth property and lambs at Westbrook, finishing them on pasture and barley sprouts before they are processed and sold in their butcher shops.
"Finishing on pastures and barley sprouts ensures that consistency all year round," Terrence said.
"All cattle come from within the 200km radius from smaller growers; they're mostly the European breeds and now the Speckle Parks as well.
"The Speckle Park is a great finish, the finished product never gets too fat and it always seems to be right.
"Once you can work out their eating pattern, it's a very good product."
Roger Ellison said they had been feeding barley sprouts since they started in the butcher trade seven years ago.
"We feed the cattle for up to 90 days, or anywhere in between that they look good," he said.
"We feed up to 40 head at one time, and just feed every morning.
"Inside a 20 foot container, it's a six day program when you put it (the barley) in one end to pull it out the other."
Despite the recent dry, Terrence said the supply of meat for the butcher shops hadn't been impacted.
"Because of the barley sprouts, it's very consistent so the drought hasn't affected us in consistency, it's more just affected us with the rise in prices."
The Ellisons also source meat from other small operations in the region that are growing chemical-free, ethically-raised and pasture-fed beef.