Barker's Butchery 40th anniversary: Apprentice becomes master

Past and present employees: Back: Greg Richards, Adam Whittaker, Clinton Evans, Hannah Dusselaar, Andrew Swannell, Brad Foley. Front: Greg Monoghan, Wayne Barker, Jason Silvester, Jenny Barker and Warran Gilding.
Past and present employees: Back: Greg Richards, Adam Whittaker, Clinton Evans, Hannah Dusselaar, Andrew Swannell, Brad Foley. Front: Greg Monoghan, Wayne Barker, Jason Silvester, Jenny Barker and Warran Gilding.

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WAYNE and Jenny Barker have been providing the Oberon community the best and freshest cuts of meat for four decades and the husband and wife duo have become an integral part of the local landscape.  

The newly engaged couple purchased what was to become Barker’s Butchery on July 24, 1978, and have happily spent the last 40 years serving the community in more ways than one.

“Wayne's slogan has always been ‘pleased to meet you - meat to please you’,” Jenny Barker said.

“That's why he loves working with the community. He's always on for a chat.

There is no talk of retirement yet. That will be up to Wayne.

Jenny Barker

“Wayne sponsors and supports local sporting groups such as junior league, senior league, soccer clubs and he is the major sponsor of the squash club. Over the years we have helped local schools with donations to their fundraising efforts such as trivia nights and we are a major supporter of Oberon Can Assist. And now Wayne is president of the harness racing club in Bathurst, so we also sponsor many races.”

It all began 44 years ago when a fresh-faced Wayne did his apprenticeship in the very butchery he now owns.

He worked his way up and went into partnership with the then owner Ron Bailey.

When the time came for Mr Bailey to hang up his meat hooks, the Barkers decided the time was right to buy the business outright and start out on their own. So, they purchased the business off a retiring Mr Bailey.

It was the start of what was to be a wonderful journey, one which generations of Oberon residents have taken along with the Barkers.

“We have had some really some great customers,” Mrs Barker said. “We have generations of customers who keep coming back.”

From humble beginnings the business grew through the years, supplying local businesses such as Mawhoods Supa IGA.  

Contributing to Barker’s Butchery success, Mrs Barker said, were a top team of employees both past and present and a dedicated group of meat suppliers and wholesalers.

“We would love to thank them all,” she said. 

So, with 40 years under their belt, have they considered shutting shop and taking it easy for a while?

“There is no talk of retirement yet,” Mrs Barker said. “That will be up to Wayne.”