11/09/2007 - 22:00

Mondo's reopening a meet and greet

11/09/2007 - 22:00

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The grand opening next week of Vince Garreffa’s renovated butcher’s shop has all the trappings expected of a big-name restaurant event.

Mondo's reopening a meet and greet

The grand opening next week of Vince Garreffa’s renovated butcher’s shop has all the trappings expected of a big-name restaurant event.

Renowned chef Neil Perry, from Sydney’s Rockpool restaurant, will be on hand to entertain an expected 250-strong crowd of media, suppliers and customers on September 17.

There will be food and wine for all.

For Mr Garreffa and his family, this is a party to celebrate the business, which has been under renovation for more than 18 months.

It is also a way to thank Mondo’s staff and customers, who have had to suffer the headaches that surface during the building process.

The Garreffa family has spent about $750,000 on the renovation, which has significantly expanded the butcher’s premises.

A house attached to the main shop was demolished to make way for new facilities, which have four times the floor space of the original premises.

Mr Garreffa has operated Mondo’s for the past 29 years, with a decade of that time spent at the Beaufort Street site in Inglewood following a move from Midland.

The business has grown significantly during that time, with its customer base expanding beyond locals picking up something for dinner to now include leading Australian chefs and global exporters seeking the butcher’s unique products.

Mr Perry first became a customer of Mr Garreffa when the business starting retailing White Rocks Veal, a joint venture between the Garreffa’s and farmer, David Partridge.

Mr Perry has now become a personal friend and is heading to Perth free of charge to officially open the new Mondo Butchers premises.

“We have been supplying him for 12 years,” Mr Garreffa told Gusto.

Mr Garreffa says the business has increased significantly in the past three years after his son, Robert, quit his job as an accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers to join him as a partner in the business.

He says sales have tripled in that time, prompting the family to expand its footprint.

“He joined us and all of a sudden I had this young lion bossing me about,” Mr Garreffa remembers.

The new Mondo’s store will incorporate a domestic showpiece kitchen, self-service cabinets, a delicatessen and a larger range of meats and prepared meals, as well as its range of pies and quiches.

The products will also be preservative free – something that Garreffas have been working on for the better part of two years.

“During the last two years we have changed to preservative-free marinade,” Mr Garreffa says.

“We were sick of reading really long labels that showed something had a colouring agent and everything else. Take garlic steak seasoning. Why on earth should that have MSG in it?

“We have been doing that for a while but three months ago we have made the pastry in our pies preservative fee. So now every bit of take-home food is guaranteed to be preservative free.”

Mr Garreffa says increasing numbers of allergy prone people were coming to the store wanting preservative-free produce.

Mr Garreffa has long been a fan of food without chemicals.

About 20 years ago, he struck an agreement with then struggling veal farmer, David Partridge, to supply veal to be marketed through his butcher’s shop.

“Initially I was going to call it Mondo’s white veal but then I realised what a beautiful name they had for the farm, White Rocks,” Mr Garreffa says.

“When I met David he had stopped making the veal, but I said that if he supplied it to me I would guarantee him a dream price within three years and we have never looked back. Mr Garreffa said calves are fed full cream milk as opposed to powdered milk, which is a common practice with other vealers.

Chefs began knocking on the door for the product and Mr Garreffa began adding other lines, like free range Linley Valley pork and Eagle Hill organic products, such as milk fed lamb and suckling pigs.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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