Olympic History

Chris and Heidi took over the 60 year old business of Olympic Butchery in March of 2018. Since taking over the shop, we have uncovered a wealth of stories and history and its place in the beautiful Hillary Court.  Olympic Butchery was once one of six butcher shops, and one of many vibrant shops in the area.  Naenae was purposefully designed, and filled with families making their life in the area. Late night shopping in the mall was so busy you couldn’t move. The front windows of Olympic Butchery would open up and the owner of the time would sell meat raffles out the front. In it’s more recent history, Billy Graham a well known New Zealand boxer and motivational speaker, learned his butchery skills in the shop.  His story is currently being recorded in a documentary.  

Opened in 1954, Hillary Court in the Lower Hutt suburb of Naenae was New Zealand’s first pedestrianised shopping mall. Shops were built along a traffic-free street, which opened to a garden court (right), where people could sit and chat. A large car park (left) was built to accommodate shoppers’ cars. The post-office clock tower provides a strong landmark element in an otherwise horizontal streetscape. 

Photo and words from Te Ara
https://teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/22216/hillary-court
Opened in 1954, Hillary Court in the Lower Hutt suburb of Naenae was New Zealand’s first pedestrianised shopping mall. Shops were built along a traffic-free street, which opened to a garden court (right), where people could sit and chat. A large car park (left) was built to accommodate shoppers’ cars. The post-office clock tower provides a strong landmark element in an otherwise horizontal streetscape. Photo and words from Te Ara https://teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/22216/hillary-court

Our Part of the Story

Chris, originally from Berlin, comes from the commercial side of meat, previously working in the areas logistics, sales, and production planning. He has always had a love for cooking, instilled in him from his Omi (Grandmother). Heidi is from Taranaki, and was raised on homekill from her parents farm. More recently she has delighted in tasting Chris’s creations in the kitchen.  Heidi has issues with gluten and dairy, so this has challenged Chris’s cooking skills!  Being part of the Real Food Petone Facebook Group really opened up new possibilities with food, and an appreciation for spray free produce and product free from “added extras”.  Once our children came along and Heidi (a qualified Early Childhood Teacher) was at home on maternity, we re-doubled our efforts to make natural foods at home. Bread was the first on the list, being that Heidi can’t tolerate large amounts of gluten. This then turned into yoghurt, sauerkraut, muesli, bliss-balls, and most importantly healthy meals cooked in bulk for dinners and lunches later in the week.  Many lessons were learnt in this time, especially the importance of budgeting!

The opportunity to purchase Olympic Butchery arose in late 2017, and Chris, having tinkered with making small goods at home and in his previous work, jumped on the chance to bring his dreams into the retail market. In just a matter of months Chris was already gaining a reputation for delicious sausages made with real meat.

Chris & Heidi and their first son
Chris & Heidi and their first son

Our Ethos

We have always done their best to minimise our footprint on Papatuanuku. We have always recycled, reused, or purchased second hand, and we used cloth nappies and wipes when our two young boys came into the world.  Our attitude also extends to food; nothing goes to waste, and what is waste is either composted or eaten by our chickens.  Our work in the butchery is supported by this attitude.  Where ever possible the animal is used in it’s entirety and waste is minimised as much as able. Our goal is to modernise Olympic Butchery and drive it into the direction of being environmentally friendly.

Our pet chicken
Our pet chicken

Our Goals

The first goal we have, is to provide the community of Naenae with healthy quality food, in accordance with the new Food Safety Act as set out by the Ministry of Primary Industries in 2014. This basically means that one of the many steps we need to have in place a working document which includes temperature checks on all of our refrigeration equipment, that our product is kept at the appropriate temperatures, and that our staff have the knowledge to keep your food safe.

Our next goal is to modernise the shop, ensuring that the building itself is clean and bright and a place where our customers are eager to return for quality product. Along with this, we are acutely aware of how necessary it is to do our best for the environment, so when the time is right we will be moving towards environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

Our third goal is to support local small businesses.  We celebrate other families doing their best to build a business. It’s tough work. We have several small businesses in the food industry who we supply meat products to. In turn this supports our local community, as the money-go-round stays here in Lower Hutt.  Naenae Mall was the first mall built in New Zealand with the aim of being the social hub of the community (Wikipedia). We know that there is a lot of motivation in the area to bring Naenae back to this point, and we proudly support this by becoming just one of many “places to go” in the mall.

Further Reading

Close Menu