David hangs up safety hat to become the new King of Meats
FROM mining to meat.
David Cunningham has stepped away from the resource industry, backing himself and the community by starting his own business.
Mr Cunningham officially took ownership of King of Meats butcher shop at the Northern Beaches this month.
Butchering runs in his blood, as he completed his apprenticeship under his father's leadership in Mt Isa.
"When I was working for my father, I always wanted to own that shop," Mr Cunningham said.
"But we moved into mining and to Mackay.
"I approached the owner of this shop (when I was looking to buy).
"We were thinking about it for six months before we decided to take the plunge."
So far Mr Cunningham has enjoyed the cool working environment.
He said his wife, Anne, had been a big help with the new venture.
"She is still working in a casual role for another employer.
"She will come in and help me in the morning, then go to her real job after that, come back and sort the kids out with their school and sport," he said.
Anne is a chef by trade.
It's something that has come in handy in the butcher shop.
"People will ask us for advice all the time - we are the meat experts," he said.
Since opening, Mr Cunningham has noticed new trends in meat buying habits.
"We get a lot of requests for beef cheeks," he said.
"Stewing meats and game meats are popular, like rabbits and quail. I now have a box of quail out the back."
The Cunningham family, which also includes son Jayden and daughter Kady, have lived in the Northern Beaches area for three years.
DAVID Cunningham was not alone is his decision to return to his previous trade.
Mackay Region Chamber of Commerce deputy president Kylie Porter said businesses had noticed an increase in skilled labourers looking for work in the region.
"For the first time we are having a whole lot of choices in terms of the employment market," she said.
"We have a high quality of applicants with more reasonable salary expectations."
Did you know?
Game is popular in the Northern Beaches.
King of Meats has ordered in a box of quail and rabbit to keep up with the demand.