From humble beginnings in 1988, and with a mere $500 in his pocket, just three months experience in the butchery trade, no financial backing and English as a second language, founder and owner of Sunshine Meats, Jose Pereira was given the opportunity of a lifetime: to purchase a small butcher shop in Redfern from his employer.
As supermarket giants grew quickly and small businesses began to sink deep into the recession of the early 90s, Jose needed to differentiate his product range and give customers a reason to choose him over the leading retailer, in order to survive in the increasingly competitive market. His wife Maria drew on her experience working in delis since the age of 16 to introduce deli items such as pastas, fresh bread, oils and cheeses, to complement their fresh meat cuts. Business continued to suffer and to avoid loss of stock Jose started to create smoked and oven roasted products, experimenting with flavours inspired by his home land Madeira, Portugal. A Portuguese-style chorizo, coppa and salami were the first products he created.
Rising rental prices squeezed Sunshine Meats out of Redfern and over to Dulwich Hill. In this new butcher shop Jose created his signature product, the Double Smoked Chilli Chicken Breast. As popularity and demand for Sunshine Meats smoked smallgoods increased, he moved to a factory in Marrickville operating solely as a wholesale business in the early 2000s.
After just over a decade, Sunshine Meats outgrew its Marrickville factory, and a purpose built factory was constructed in Milperra in 2011. This also allowed for the opportunity to create a retail space in the form of a deli/cafe.
The deli/café, The Charcuterie Room @ Sunshine Meats, has since become a favourite in the Bankstown area and a face for the brand.
Our deli/café has led an award-winning streak for Sunshine Meats, starting in 2014 with a win for best delicatessen and best overall local business in the Bankstown Business Awards. This was followed up with another win in the our category a year later, along with the award for outstanding innovation. After success at the local business awards, Sunshine Meats took out the award for the country’s best fresh food business at the Australian Small Business Championship Awards in 2015. The Australian Pork Corporation has crowned Sunshine Meats maker of Australia’s Best Artisan Ham (2014-16). Never one to boast about his product, Jose was hesitant to enter the ham awards but was encouraged by his daughter, Celina, to allow it to be judged by the best in the business.
Sunshine Meats is celebrating its 30th year in 2018, and the quality and passion for what Jose has remained consistent through all the years. Some of Sunshine Meats customers have followed in the journey from Redfern and always share what Sunshine Meats is about. Sunshine Meats is a proud family-owned and operated business with Jose taking care of production, Maria the deli/café and Celina managing the office. We are members of Family Business Australia.