By Unwana sunday
Mr. Babatunde Wilkey, owner of the popular Butchery outfit, The Meat Embassy, has disclosed during a chat that his company that started 14 years ago is leading in the distribution of freshly and hygienically packed meats in the country.
Wilkey who has worked in the hospitality industry for more than two decades before he established The Meat Embassy said he was deliberate about making quality meat available and affordable to the consumers on 24/7 basis through mega shopping malls and other outlets in the country.
He noted that when he ventured in to the business of butchery, he realized that electric power supply was a serious challenge as a good chunk of his profit went into the purchase of generating plants and diesel or petrol to power the cold rooms in order to sustain the freshness of the meats therein. But as an innovative and strategic businessman, he went into partnership with some firmly established shopping malls in order to eliminate the stress of buying diesel and giant generating plants to sustain his meat business
He said “ To continuously serve our customers hygienically and freshly packed meats, we went into partnership with some established platforms like Jara shopping malls, Groceries Bazzar, PricePointe, Jendol and more where we provided refrigerators to their butchery sections and stocked up our meats and paid an agreed charges to the malls’ owners. Meanwhile, the strategy, to a large extent has taken away the stress of epileptic power supplies or deployment of our profit to purchase diesels to keep the cold rooms working for 24/7 hrs as the business of meats requires.
This strategy has also caused effective products penetration and positioned our products to a wide range of meats consumers in the country”
About what makes Meat Embassy brand unique, he remarked that all his outfits and facilities in different parts of Lagos state have been duly approved by the state government and other food and health related agencies in the country. And having been rated as the best indigenous butchery centre in Lagos state, and it’s ready collaborate with Lagos state on her Agricultural project- Butchery Academy, an empowerment initiative designed to train young graduates to have access to jobs in the Meat value chain, while the local meat sellers will also be trained, guided and exposed to the modern methods of managing butchery business to ensure safe and quality meat delivery
Aside the partnership with mega malls in Lagos, The Meat Embassy has deliberately set up shops in Ogun , Edo and other states where their sales teams are positioned to operate; top supermarkets are also engaged to stock and make available quality meats easily accessible to their numerous consumers.
He explained further that his meats offerings are cow meat, goat meat, ram meat, lamb meat, smoked chicken, seafood, sausages and poultry produce. They are neatly cut, packed and made handy. Each part of the meat is carefully packed by highly skilled and motivated personnel who are poised to deliver quality meats to their consumers at affordable prices.
We all know that a cow has many parts, so we cut each part and packed separately to enable our customers pick any part of the meat he or she wishes to use for cooking smartly without the stress of having to pick the leg of the animal from the pack that contains the skin.
“We have revolutionized butchery business in Nigeria. Before now, meats were being carried in sacks and moved in trucks with the blood, and all the parts were lumped together and dropped in cold rooms, making it difficult for people to pick the parts he/she needed to use when guests in restaurants or hotels placed order for a particular part of the meat.
“In fact, chefs were frustrated when such orders came because they would be forced to remove all the frozen meat from the cold room and defrost in order to pick the parts the customer wanted. And when meat is handled in such manner, the freshness and taste will be affected. But we have come up with a smart pack and ready to eat portion, just the replica of what is done abroad.
“And the story changed as more hotels and restaurants demanded for our products. In our butchery, animals marked for slaughter are traceable to its place of birth and date of birth. This is important for us because we need to have the profile of all animals we offer to the public to ensure safety. And before we slaughter, veterinary doctors are invited to evaluate and carry out other relevant tests on the animals and certify them fit for consumption before they are slaughtered”
Wilkey stressed that there are lot of shady deals in the meats value chain in the country, but at meat Embassy being the indigenous meat company has resolved to maintain standards as required by the government. While meat embassy butchers slaughter animals and allow the water and blood to drain before cutting and packing, the untrained butchers do not pay attention to such detail, they simply slaughter, cut and pass to the innocent meat consumers. That is unhealthy way of managing meats. And any meat that is treated and delivered in such manner will give the consumers some health issues.
Babatunde who led reporters on a tour to visit and have a feel of his Cold rooms, butchers and Sales team at different malls, supermarkets and other designated places where meat Embassy products are prepared and sold, noted that The Meat Embassy has concluded plans to have outlets in all the local government In Lagos state and replicate the same model in other states of the federation to deliver quality meats to the people. He added that at the moment, Meat Embassy is the major supplier of meats to all the five star hotels in major cities in the country.
“Indeed, we have added value to the butchery business in Nigeria, and we are ready to have our stores in all local governments and ensure that quality meats are sold to the people. We have been very consistent in delivering well packed meats to virtually all the five star hotels in the country.
“We are proud driving our refrigerator trucks to places like Le Meridien Ibom Hotel In Akwa Ibom state and other top notch hotels in Abuja, Edo, Ogun and other major cities to deliver our hygienically packed meats.” he enthused
Reiterating the challenges confronting small and medium scale businesses in the country coupled with the recession and the aftermath of pandemic, Wilkey who prefers to be called ‘Butcher’ appealed to the government to speedily and seriously provide a lasting solution to the power issue and swiftly address the insecurity challenges, saying if these two major issues are not properly tackled, food scarcity will set and destabilize or collapse our fragile economy as no farmer will endanger his or her life to make food available.
“Our government should be proactive, responsible and responsive in tackling poor power supply and insecurity in the country.
“In most cases, the money we the business owners, especially those in agricultural value chain spend on power and security would’ve been used to expand businesses and employ more people and develop the economy” he noted
Asked about 2020 and xmas, Mr. butcher expressed his gratitude to God for preserving his household his entire team and his esteemed customers who struggled to keep The Meat Embassy brand inspite of the pandemic and other challenges that fractured virtually everything in 2020.
About the xmas, The Meat Embassy Team invites people who desire to eat freshly packed meat in this special season to visit Jara mall, Grocery Bazars, PricePointe, Jendol etc or its corporate headquarters at No. 1 , Lewis Street, Santos Layout, Egbeda, Lagos or visit www.meatembassy.com for more details.