Riverland butcher snags country’s best bratwurst

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By Melissa Keogh

Riverland butcher Nigel Rollbusch says snagging the title of best bratwurst in the nation is “a bit like winning the lotto”.

Waikerie butcher shop Rollbusch Quality Meats took top gong at the national Sausage King Awards in the continental category for its bratwurst sausage.

Rollbusch Quality Meats was the only South Australian finalist to pick up an award at the Australian Meat Industry Council event in Perth earlier this month, a big win for a small business that’s only been running for almost three years.

The winning snag is a German-style sausage made from pork and beef, and Nigel says it’s popular with in-store customers as well as local pubs and a bakery which include the bratwurst on their menus.

The Rollbusch family, from left, Jess, Toni, Nigel and Erin.

“It’s a bit like a mettwurst flavour, we make it from scratch using garlic and a few herbs and spices,” Nigel says.

“To get through to the national awards was great, so when I heard our name being called (as the winner) it was like winning the lotto.”

Nigel has been a butcher for about 20 years, but spent two years prior to taking over the Waikerie butcher shop as a stock agent for Elders.

“This area is a gold mine for quality stock,” he says. “I’ve been a butcher for 20 years, my history is there and my passion is definitely there.

“We source our beef from three local feedlots, the Fogdens, Fisher Brothers and Shannon Brothers, and the pork is from Riverhaven at Taylorville.”

Nigel also entered a turkey and Riverland cumquat sausage in the poultry category of the national awards, but didn’t quite reach the same success as the bratwurst.

Rollbusch Quality Meats is also home to a small fresh fruit and vegetable store, which also sells local cheeses, milk and condiments.

Rollbusch Quality Meats has about eight staff on the books including two apprentices, one of them Nigel’s son, a third-year apprentice.

Nigel’s wife Toni is also involved in the business which supplies a number of local establishments, including the New Land Bakery, the Waikerie and Loxton hotels and the View Point Café at Waikerie.

Recently, Rollbusch Quality Meats expanded its shop to include a small selection of local fruit and vegetables, milk, cheeses and condiments.

Nigel says the small deli has gone “gang busters” since its establishment, increasing business trade by 35%.

“Waikerie is a fantastic area, we have so much local produce here from potatoes, pears and apples to watermelon, rockmelon and coriander,” he says.

“There’s a need for it, it’s what the locals want.”

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