HE IS the butcher that people travel far and wide to visit.
Well-known butcher Ray Villain, of Walkerston Country Meats, has started trading at the old Jamie's Meats butcher shop on Nebo Rd at the Fourways.
Mr Villain has been one of the few assets to the red meat industry and the promotion of the Mackay area after he won the Australian Sausage King award in 2008, followed by a cook-off on Mornings with Kerri Anne.
Greenmount Bazadais Stud owner John McFarlane said he had received lots of feedback from folk in Emerald, Clermont, Bowen and other mining towns, who get their eskies full of meat when they come to town.
Walkerston Country Meats was the first butcher shop outside of France to sell the bazadais-cross meat.
"Walkerston and Jamie's Meats are two of only three butcher's shops in Australia that sell the bazadais and bazaman meats, and we get visitors who are travelling through that call in just because they have heard on the grapevine about the bazadais meat, sausages and bazadais pepperonis," Mr Villain said.
"There is great feedback from the caravanning public and it's another reason for them to stop in the Mackay area."
Ray Villain and wife Sandy said this would assist their town customers and they would also have a full range available.
This includes the signature bazadais beef that was developed at Walkerston by John and Kathy McFarlane of Greenmount Bazadais Stud.
Mr McFarlane said Mr Villain and his staff were a very important part in the development of the bazadais cross-breeding program in Australia and provided invaluable feedback regarding the meat quality, tenderness and meat yields.
"This is very important to have good facts and figures on the 3000-plus head of cattle that have been processed so far.
"This has been one of the biggest ever private trials, and it is very humbling to have producers of other well advertised breeds from Tasmania and Victoria say that they cannot match the taste and tenderness of the bazadais meat.
"They always give me a bit of stick and have a good laugh when I tell them that the toughest part of the bazadais meat is the gravy," Mr McFarlane said.
The full range of Mr Villain's award-winning sausages, pepperonis, small goods, pork, poultry and Tasmanian lamb will be available from Walkerston Meats at the old Jamie's Meats butcher shop.
Walkerston Country Meats also supplies another local firm, Bushman's Bread which makes the very popular "Bushman's Bazaman" meat pie which is available through Bushman's retailers.