Tamar Valley News is proud to award Nigel Birrell as our ‘Local Legend’ for June 2021, an award aimed at recognising community members for the contributions they make to their community.
Nigel is the owner of ‘Nigel’s Gourmet’ – the popular butcher you know from his stores in Exeter and Kings Meadows, and is always keen to give back to the community where he can.
A well-known and respected local, Nigel grew up on the East Coast of Tasmania at St Mary’s, and wanted to be a butcher ever since he was a child.
Nigel’s career started out as a clean up boy at the local butcher shop, which later saw him transition down to Hobart to complete a butcher course. After completing his butchery course, Nigel moved to the North of the state where he now owns the award-winning butcher shops.
“Exeter said they wanted an apprentice so that’s how I got there. I worked there for 10 years and then bought the shop.”
Nigel is only too happy to help out and has previously been recognised for his community support after donating meat trays and vouchers to fundraisers and other events.
“We just help out anyway we can, especially people that support us.”
“We find it’s good to give back to the community, school, sports clubs and they always find a way to pay you back.”
Nigel said the community in the West Tamar were loyal people and that it’s nice to be able to help them out where he can. “I was pretty luck to end up down there, and after a few years you feel like a bit of a local down there.” He said.
Nigel started to expand the business after running out of room in his Exeter store and was given the opportunity to purchase a factory which included a couple of shops. “I suppose once you’re in the supermarket complexes, people know you.”
“We got phone calls to say do you want to put your shop in Meadow Mews.”
Before Nigel’s opened up within the Meadow Mews complex, there were no local butchers in the town.
“I thought it was a pretty good place here, heaps of people. There was no real butchers shop in Kings Meadows so that’s what happened.”
Despite feeling like the expansion was too soon, Nigel said he was able to do it with the support of others around him.
Nigel’s philosophy on providing community support is to just say yes and help out where you can.
“Sometimes you can’t always give time when you’re in a small business but if there’s any other way you can, fit it in that way. They’re very grateful for what you do.”
Nigel acknowledges that whilst not all businesses are in a position to offer their time and or vouchers, being involved in the community is still important.
“Definitely be involved with community things where you can. That benefits you in the long run anyway, like you’re part of the community then they’ll support you.”