An interview with David Beattie, founder of The Meat Club Singapore
Ok, so being married to The Vegetarian means that we don’t actually eat alot of meat at home. I dine out for my meat fix but when I do have guests over and am serving or cooking meat, I want it to be spectacular. I also don’t want to worry about how fresh it is, if it’s been frozen, defrosted or hassle with going from one shop to the next to find the right cut for me. Seeing as I know so little about preparing and cooking meat, I also want a way for it to get to me ready-to-go in the pan or on the grill or in the oven.
Enter The Meat Club. We talked to David Beattie, founder of this new concept in Singapore. The Meat Club delivers fresh (never frozen) meat direct from the farm gate to your door. Find out more about him and his business below. Thanks David!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up on a large sheep farm in outback Australia. Throughout my childhood, I worked the land with my dad and brother, and learnt everything about farming life, including the ideal conditions to rear sheep and other animals.
On the family farm, I was always keen to understand how things worked. But it wasn’t until I went to boarding school that I was struck by the scale of the city, and wanted to understand how this was all possible. This led me to study engineering and establishing a career in infrastructure, both in Australia and abroad.
After almost ten years working as a civil engineer and project manager, I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the INSEAD program to complete an MBA in Singapore.
What inspired you to start The Meat Club?
Australia has an abundance of great, fresh produce, which is very easily taken for granted. When I moved to Singapore, I was frustrated that good quality red meat was hard to come by. It was often frozen or chilled with a short shelf life and priced at a point I couldn’t afford.
I spoke with a close friend who runs a restaurant chain in Singapore about the difference between the wholesale and retail price of meat and the costs of import. We soon came to realise that there was a business opportunity in providing great quality meat, direct to customers, without the overheads of a bricks and mortar operation. After speaking with some Australian suppliers, we were able to secure a product that complimented the idea of creating an online presence, and The Meat Club was born.
Who do you think would most appreciate The Meat Club and what it offers?
The Meat Club offers something for everyone. Whether you are a meat connoisseur, fanatic or a BBQ lover, we take the hassle out of buying quality beef and lamb, which everyone can appreciate.
For example. I was not surprised to hear that other people were similarly frustrated by the lack of good quality meat in Singapore. To overcome this, a large proportion of them had resorted to bringing meat in their suitcases after visiting Australia and storing it in their freezer for months at a time. Others purchased red meat from the local supermarket or butcher sparingly, knowing the quality was substandard, despite the price and origin.
This has meant that eating red meat in Singapore has been a luxury that required careful planning, because if the meat had been frozen and thawed in preparation for dinner, it had to be cooked and eaten immediately.
With The Meat Club, members can rest assured that our product is Meat Standards Australia (MSA) graded, fresh (never frozen) and delivered straight to your door from the farm gate.
So how does it work?
The Meat Club is an online subscription model with no lock in contract. We encourage everyone to come on what we call, ‘Auto Pilot’. Auto Pilot means you get a regular meat delivery every four weeks, immediately on import, so you are guaranteed our brand promise of 28 day shelf life in your fridge (10 days for mince). Auto Pilot also offers great flexibility, as you can modify, defer or cancel your order at any time while benefiting from ongoing convenience and savings.
Aside from Auto Pilot, we also offer one off, next day delivery. Depending on the time of these orders, the meat may have a slightly shorter shelf life but members still benefit from meat that is chilled (never frozen).
We get a lot of questions around how we can guarantee such a long shelf life. This is owed to our packaging technology which cryo-vacuum packs the meat at the processors. It also means no one else touches your meat, thereby greatly reducing any risk of cross contamination.
What has done well here in Singapore?
Members can either build their own meat pack or select a pack from one we have carefully curated. So far, we have found that building your own pack has been our most popular feature. This allows members to pick cuts most suited to them and their family, depending on how much beef and lamb they consume.
I would also add that our lean mince is particularly popular, as it has 10% fat content as opposed to traditional supermarkets which stock mince with around 20%.
Since our beef meat is MSA graded, members can be assured they are getting the very best in Australian product.
Do you have a favourite cut of meat or recipe you’d like to share?
My favorite cut has to be the Eye Fillet steak. It is a smaller but thicker cut of meat (roughly 36mm) that is our most tender with an unbeatable flavor.
I like to BBQ my Eye Fillet so the full flavor of the beef comes out. To do this, I rub the steak in avocado oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper and let it rest out of the fridge for ten minutes. On a very hot BBQ grill, I cook the meat for about 5mins on one side and 4mins on the other for medium-rare.
I am careful not to poke the meat unnecessarily and then remove it from the heat, before placing it immediately in foil for 10mins. This is an important – but often overlooked step – which allows the steak to continue cooking and the juices to redistribute before eating, making it much jucier and tender.
Is there any advice you’d give to someone wanting to start their own produce oriented business and website?
Make sure you believe in your products and their quality, and establish solid partnerships with suppliers and contractors who will support you while you are starting up your new business.
JUST IN TIME FOR AUSTRALIA DAY:
Place an order with The Meat Club, add any cut of lamb to your cart and you’ll receive $20 off the total value of your order. Enter LOVELAMB on checkout to redeem this special offer.
For more information:
All images have been provided by The Meat Club. This article was originally published on vanillabeige.com and may have been edited for this platform.