The boutique butcher and Donna Hay’s ex dealt a devastating business blow just six months after an upbeat interview about surviving the pandemic.
- Beloved Sydney butcher closes after almost 40 years
- Farm Fresh Foods in Paddington owed money to the tax collector
- Owner Bill Wilson was married to culinary doyen Donna Hay
A much-loved upmarket butcher is closing after falling into voluntary administration.
Locals were shocked to discover on Monday that Farm Fresh Foods, located on Sydney’s busy Oxford Street, had closed its doors.
The shop, owned by high-profile New Zealand-born farmer and butcher Bill Wilson, went into voluntary administration due to “significant debts”, the biggest of which is to the Australian Revenue Office.
The 20 Farm Fresh Foods employees were told of the closure amid reportedly tearful scenes, the Sydney Morning Herald informed.
Wilson, who has owned the butcher shop and fresh food store since 1985, is the ex-husband of doyen of cooking magazine and cookbooks Donna Hay.
Fresh Foods, a much-loved premium grocer in the Sydney suburb of Paddington, left locals in shock after suddenly closing its doors.
The store was owned by New Zealand-born Bill Wilson, who just six months ago was optimistic about the store’s prospects.
The couple, who had two children together, separated in 2015.
The locals left high and dry mourned the shop, and it seemed to have come as a shock to Mr. Bilson.
He recently told the community magazine local paddo that her business had prospered even as other butcher shops and fresh food stores closed around her.
“There were a lot of changes as we went along,” he said in September 2022.
“The reason Farm Fresh expanded is because any business we lost in the community, we added to our own.”
He said the key to the store’s survival had been adapting to customer needs.
Mr Wilson’s ex-wife is the doyen of cookbooks and food magazines Donna Hay (pictured on the Gold Coast in 2017)
“As people got busier during the week, we started offering them prepared meals to pick up on the way home,” Mr. Wilson said.
He believed that with the pandemic and rising prices seeing more people cooking at home, his store was ready to cash in.
“I think we’re going to see butcher shops come back in a big way,” he said.
In its latest Facebook and Instagram post, the store highlighted the quality of its food preparation.
“It’s not hard to see all the love and hard work that goes into our Farm Fresh meals,” the post read.
‘Every salad, every pre-cooked meal and every take-home lunch is prepared right here in our kitchen, by our chefs and butchers.’
Mr Wilson, a farmland owner in NSW, was contacted for comment.