Richard has long had an interest in agriculture and food production, particularly red meat. This began like many others with competing in the Junior Heifer Shows where he developed a passion for cattle , particularly Angus Cattle.
He had the idea of developing a premium beef brand back in the 90’s when branding meat was an unusual concept. Coorong Angus Beef was developed based on the wine industry model of branding based on regionality. The rest of the meat business that Richard and his wife Liz run, came later, starting with the purchase of their very first butcher shop, The Mt Barker Chop Shop, in 2001. Liz is also from a cattle background , her parents owned the Injemira Hereford stud and father Ian Watson was a director of MLA.
The business has grown to be a successful ‘paddock-to-plate’ enterprise that includes additional family-grown brands such as Pure Suffolk Lamb ( the Angus of lamb being the most tender and highest marbling breed ), along with high end products produced by other like-minded, passionate producers . There are four Feast! Fine Foods stores in Adelaide, a game store called Something Wild, and two family value shops, including the original Chop Shop.
Richard Gunner’s Fine Meats also supplies over 200 restaurants Australia-wide, including well-known establishments like Orana, Rockpool and even The Fat Duck, Heston Blumenthal’s famous restaurant which opened in Melbourne for six months.
The food industry is a highly competitive space and Richard continues to innovate to stay in front of the competition, with the aim of adding value and delivering exceptional products and services to a discerning consumer base. His Coorong Angus Beef is now famous throughout Australia having won numerous medals at the various Fine Food Awards held around Australia, including several Gold and two Championships.
Coincidentally , Richard first met John Gommers through the Suffolk lamb connection but was immediately impressed by John’s Stoney Point Angus herd . They represent the cattle that butcher’s seek out thick made, well muscled with extra fleshing ability.
Sons Will and Jock look like continuing the tradition having raised commercially their own cow and calf units and they have already worked out “Angus is best”.