sam canning serving a customer

I love and respect animals, so it was an easy decision of mine to sell free range produce only. Some people think that’s strange – a butcher who cares about animal welfare – but I don’t get that. It’s the way it should be. I’m in a very privileged position, where my business can make a big difference. That’s why I believe that ethically farmed meat is the only honest and fair option. Meat should be savoured and appreciated. Animals should be treated with compassion and respect. When you shop with us, you’re supporting farmers that truly care for their animals.

Back Then…

Born and raised in the Bayside suburbs of Melbourne, I spent my early childhood growing up in the Mordialloc area, before moving to Hampton, then South Melbourne. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a vet, or an arachnologist (spider scientist). Although fate had a different plan. So after completing my butchers apprenticeship (2002) at a Hampton butcher shop, and a short period of time butchering for both leading supermarkets, I chose to pursue professional ambitions abroad.

Whilst living in London, I worked for The Ginger Pig – a business that farmed their own pigs, cows and lambs in Yorkshire and sold them through their London shop and Borough Market stall. I returned to Melbourne and landed a management role with the Polkinghornes group, in Albert Park – another paddock to plate style, boutique butcher. It was during the time spent with Polkinghornes that I decided to channel all of my experience into my own venture. After six months of business planning, my first day of trading at CANNINGS was 18th July, 2010.

Now and the future…

Thanks to my great staff and supportive client base, Cannings now has three stores (Kew, Hawthorn and Malvern) and employs over 35 staff – most of whom are local to to these areas. Online home delivery is a large part of our business and one of biggest growth areas. In 2016 we will be putting a lot of effort to further develop online sales as there are no new retail stores planned for 2016.

Things have certainly changed a lot in the last two years and my role has changed along with it. The hours I used to spend on the counter serving my valued customers are now spent overseeing store management and processes, marketing, driving product development, managing supplier relations, human resources, staff recruitment, and training.  I absolutely love the (very few) hours I manage to get on a cutting bench each week and I still get a buzz out of serving my customers and talking about food!

Cannings Butchers was founded on great service, great product and a genuine interest in customer satisfaction and animal welfare.  These values are everything to me and they will always ring true, no matter how big we get. Every product, every decision or idea that has been implemented into the business has come through my hands.  This business is still very young and I am very hungry to make it the best it can be. At the moment, I’m doing a Monday to Friday week and tend to be based at the Kew store or in our head office which is also in Kew.

Please save my direct email and write to me whenever you feel that we could have done something a little better or even if you need some advise on cooking or meat in general. [email protected]