For some, discovering a ‘snag’ in their business would be bad news but for Hastings gourmet sausage manufacturer, Beard Bros, it has been an amazing journey.
Twelve years after the company was started by Rob Beard, the multiple award-winning gourmet sausage and small-goods manufacturer continues to experience strong growth, having last year been placed 20th in Deloitte’s Fast 50 index with 268% revenue growth.
Married to Lara, Rob says the Beard Bros name relates to their three sons, Max, 17, Ned, 15, and Sam, 10, who like their father, are all mad keen hunters and fishermen. It was Rob’s passion for hunting that was the genesis of the business with him making salami from the game he caught and the business originally being named Wild Game Salamis.
“Our mission basically was to just produce good, old school hand-crafted sausages; we never really planned for it to be this big, but that’s what it’s turned out to be.”
The business had a very modest start, operating out of a small single-room premises with one chiller. “I remember one day we made 100 kilos, and me and the butcher at the time, we high-fived each other, we thought we’d cracked it. We were so stoked.”
Today, Beard Bros produces 10 to 15 tonnes of sausages a week, and during summer this amount increases to 20 to 25 tonnes, with about 25 staff employed depending on the time of year, including Rob and Lara’s sons pitching in during the summer holidays.
The company produces beef, pork, venison and chicken sausages, which are made “the old school way,” plus a range of gourmet sausages which include beef and blue cheese, pork and spiced apple, pork and puha and pork and cress, boerewors and a range of patties.
Sausage rolls were added to the product line in early July; these comprise beef, pork and pork; plum and hoisin sausage rolls; and they have been a big hit already.
The hardest part about creating them was to find a pastry that would equal the quality and taste of the meat and do them justice, and after an extensive search pastry sourced from Gilles Bakery in Rotorua was chosen to make a next-level sausage roll.
“It’s an incredible pastry; it’s a French layered pastry using butter. It’s just divine.” It is not only Rob and his team that are singing their praises. They have been nominated as a finalist in the 2023 New Zealand Food Awards for Beard Bros Old School Beef and Old School Pork Sausage Rolls, just two weeks after their release.
“The world needs a good sausage roll, there’s no doubt about it.”
Rob loves the product development aspect of the business which often involves him experimenting with ideas for something new. The latest product, soon to be released, is Moroccan Lamb sausages made in collaboration with New Zealand-owned herb and spice retailer Mrs Rogers. “I’m really, really excited about that, they have an amazing flavour.”
Beard Bros string of awards in recent years includes the NZ Foodstuffs Awards 2022 Innovation Finalist, the 2021 New Zealand Food Awards Artisan Winner and a silver medal in the 2020 Great New Zealand Sausage Competition.
The company has won awards every year since 2017 when it received a gold medal for its saveloy, as well as celebrity chef Simon Gault selecting its then Boudin Noir sausage as the best in New Zealand.
Beard Bros products are available nationwide from Pak’nSave and New World supermarkets and Four Square and Gilmours stores.
© Waterford Press Ltd 2023 – Independent Print Media New Zealand