It stands as Australia’s oldest continually run butcher shop, dating back to the Churchill family, who founded it in 1876 and after which the store draws half its name. The other half belongs to Victor Puharich, a fourth generation butcher who emigrated to Australia from Croatia in the 1970s. Valuing family, hard-work and honesty above all else, Victor dedicated his life to mastering his craft. In 1996, this dedication culminated in the creation of Vic’s Premium Quality Meat and a business partnership with his son Anthony that continues today.
In that venture, Anthony forged close working partnerships with Australia's best producers, developing a true understanding of the methods involved in farming some of the best meat in the world; necessary for anyone with ambitions of opening a butcher store of unprecedented quality. His vision was realised in 2009 when he launched Victor Churchill Fine Family Butcher, as a gift to his father. Anthony not only drew on global influences and inspirations to create this unique store, but infused them with passion, family, and the celebration of food.
Victor Churchill may have started from humble beginnings but it has evolved into an immersive experience in which every detail has been carefully curated. There is theatre, luxury and indulgence but above all there is dedication. Dedication to the craft of butchery.
Along tree-lined Queen St, the front façade features a see-through double glazed refrigerated vitrine allowing customers to view an ever-changing array of hanging meat and poultry – all displayed on stunning custom copper and glass shelving, with produce featured in an illuminated ice display.
Rich timber wall panelling, timber beamed ceiling and an Italian Calacatta marble slab floor immediately give a sense of true quality. The floor has been sliced into mosaic tiles and re-laid in book-matched slab form with a marble wall coving – an Australian-first installation created by boutique stonemasons Gitani Stone. The ceiling and counter fronts feature hand-carved copper fretwork by Di Emme Creative Solutions.
The floor-to-ceiling glass walled cool room is a stunning feature that blends form with functionality. Speciality cuts of meat slowly pass by, hung from a custom designed cog gear and metal chain rack with larger carcase meat cuts ageing behind, all backed by the floor-to-ceiling Himalayan salt brick wall. This wall, built out of salt bricks imported from The Himalayas in Pakistan, acts as a natural air purifier and reduces air humidity, thus helping the meats dry-ageing process.
The charcuterie counter displays many of the world’s top quality cured, artisanal meats such as Jamon Iberico de Bellota, Prosciutto and Chorizo sliced with legendary Dutch Berkel meat slicers alongside a specially imported French Labesse Giraudon rotisserie for poultry and game birds. The museum quality antique Berkel floor-standing slicer, restored in Europe is displayed nearby.
It is the little details that make up the rich tapestry of Victor Churchill. The original sandstone wall discovered during demolition which now stands proudly behind our butchers room. Our restored Berkel slicers and imported French Labesse Giraudon rotisserie. The custom cast sausage door handles which add a touch of whimsy and cladding the walls of our hot and cold kitchens, hair on leather cow hides, covered and protected by glass made by Texas based artist Kyle Bunting to name but a few.
Victor Churchill windows have long been a focal point for our Woollahra community. Whether they herald the start of a new season, celebrate a special event or educate they are always talked about, delight and inspire. We endeavour to make every window relevant to our store and customers alike.