Butcher snags market

Graeme and Linda Sutton
Graeme and Linda Sutton Warren Lynam

GLUTEN-FREE is one food category growing into an industry juggernaut.

A Buderim Butchery has taken a firm hold of the dietary sector, offering a complete range of gluten-free foods, without missing out on all the luxuries.

As a celiac himself, Graeme Sutton spent years researching products to offer customers everything a regular butcher would offer, completely gluten-free.

"Having celiac disease is life changing. You have to be self disciplined and it all comes down to diet," Mr Sutton said.

"It was very difficult to find products which were completely gluten-free because even if products say they are (gluten-free), they usually still contain a percentage of gluten.

"When people come to the shop, they are assured of getting a product that contains absolutely no traces of gluten because I know what I'm talking about, because I'm one (celiac) myself."

In 2010, gluten-free foods racked up $2.5 billion in global sales, accounting for more than a quarter of all food-intolerance purchases, according to Euromonitor International. Mr Sutton said customers travelled from as far as Brisbane, Caloundra and Noosa to try his range.

"They trust me, that is what it comes down to," he said.

The Buderim Butchery has been operating as a sole gluten-free butcher since 2010.

Mr Sutton took over managing the shop after 15 years working as a professional renovator.

"I am a butcher by trade, but I gave it up because I wanted to get into the property market, renovating and selling houses," he said.

"I came back into the game because there was a need for this on the Sunshine Coast, and from the customer base I have built since opening, it was desperate."

Mr Sutton's gluten-free lamb and pumpkin sausages won the South-East Sausage King award last year. And his crumbed chicken and marinades have proved a hit with customers.

"I offer a personal approach to my customers because I understand their fears when it comes to buying food that may contain gluten," he said.

Topics:  butcher gluten-free niche market

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