Beard Brothers – Boutique producer keeping it real

“All meat is sourced from a trusted network of suppliers committed to sourcing from sustainable Kiwi farmers.”

Rob Beard, Founder

When the owner of Beard Brothers, Rob Beard, got bored during the recent Covid-19 lockdown he started ringing around supermarkets in the South Island to see if they were interested in stocking his unique handcrafted small goods.

Every single one said yes leading to a major expansion for the Hastings company, which previously had its products stocked in the North Island.

Owned by Rob and wife Lara, Beard Brothers is named after the couple’s three sons who have a hunger for the great outdoors and an appetite for great food.

A major driver for the couple was that they wanted their kids to have a good understanding of where the food on their table came from. Their vision is to produce the best handcrafted small goods from pure New Zealand ingredients.

Using heritage recipes and traditional methods their range of sausages, patties and saveloys is made the old fashioned way.

“All meat is sourced from a trusted network of suppliers committed to sourcing from sustainable Kiwi farmers. It’s grass-fed, free farmed and it tastes great,” says Rob.

“The sausage casings we use are natural and that makes a big difference. Better texture, better flavour and to put it simply, sausages that taste like they did when you were a kid,” says Rob.

Keeping it real and natural is a major focus. That means pure ingredients, no added MSG and definitely no over-processed or filler meats. The seasonings used are top quality and used sparingly so the natural flavour of the meat shines through.

Innovation is at the heart of the company and can be seen across the range. For example, the Beard Brothers ‘island inspired’ Pork and Palusami Sausage is a combination of the company’s popular Pork Sausage and authentic Palusami – a combination of taro leaves, onion, spices, spinach and coconut – sourced directly from Samoa.

After one month on sale, it was 9% of Beard Brothers’ total sausage market and continues to grow.

“We had to find a way to blend in the palusami so had to design a set of paddles for our sausage filler to ensure that the palusami is evenly distributed through the sausages,” explains Rob.

“We worked closely with the local Pacifica church on this sausage and the crew were our chief taste testers.”

Other innovative products Rob believes are world-first on supermarket shelves are Pork and Puha and Pork and Watercress which took out the Artisan category in the NZ Food Awards for 2021.

Sustainability is another significant focus and Rob says Beard Brothers is constantly looking at ways to reduce any impact on the environment. Beard Brothers uses 100% recyclable trays from Germany and product sleeves are printed on environmentally responsible paperboard, produced using ECF pulp ISO14001.

Rob says Beard Brothers is “really big” on social wellbeing.

Every week staff tray pack any small sausages and these go to The Acorn Project, a volunteer organisation that helps families with kids between 5-20 living with cancer.

Along with this it supports local junior sports teams and schools, Lifeline and sends one pellet of sausages (about 300kg) a month to the Wellington City Mission.

Rob says the company will continue to do what it does best –  innovate and come up with amazing groundbreaking new products.

© Waterford Press Ltd 2022

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