VIDEO: Butcher closes after loss of customers from IGA
DESPITE being in the butcher trade for 58 years, Graham Zahl will be taking his knives on the road for his next chapter.
The Raw Sausage butcher shop in Stockland is closing down and after owning meat businesses for 34 years including 27 of those in Hervey Bay, Mr Zahl plans to hit the road in six months to enjoy his retirement.
"I'm planning a trip around Australia with a mate who I grew up with," Mr Zahl said.
"I won't rule out a bit of butcher work on the road, I will take my knives, you never know."
It has been a tough road for the business.
While the father of three only has good things to say about his loyal customers and the friends he's made along the way, the closure of IGA at Stockland was the last straw for The Raw Sausage.
"I've always enjoyed it and it's always had highs and lows but the closure of IGA was the biggest low and I decided to call it a day," Mr Zahl said.
"We lost trade when the supermarket closed," he said.
Along with this, the increase in the price of meat, the drought and export trade has had an impact on the business's livelihood.
The butcher shop will have it's last day of trade on June 24.
Mr Zahl, who started his apprenticeship when he was 13 and worked in the business all over regional Queensland, will put some work into his hobby farm before planning his trip, all going to plan.
"I've been stuck here with the shop so I haven't been able to get away much," the 71-year-old said.
"I plan to have about a months break and then get stuck into jobs around the hobby farm and downsize the property and then I will be right to go."
After nearly 60 years in the meat business, Mr Zahl can safely say he's never lost a finger.
"I have had a lot of close shaves and many stitches but have all my fingers."
"Back in the day you would stitch it up and come back to work the next day."
He thanked all his customers and the friends he's met along the way who have made his journey one to remember.