When James Vallely Snr moved from Mareeba and opened his first Cairns Butcher Shop at Redlynch in 1925, he never in his wildest dreams imagined that 85 years later his grandchildren would be behind the counter selling modern meat specialties like Shabu Shabu, Black Angus steak, Wagyu beef and award winning sausages to customers across Cairns and Far North Queensland.
Meat and butchering is a passion and a tradition in the Vallely family. Although times have changed since our first family butcher shop opened, our commitment to providing fine quality meat and friendly local service is as strong and traditional as ever.
It all started with James Vallely Snr, grandfather of Brian Vallely and great grandfather of Ben Vallely.
Seeing a rising number of people and cane cutters come to live in Redlynch and Kamerunga and few butchers to provide meat, James Snr and his family moved their family butcher shop from Mareeba to Redlynch in 1925.
Until the late 1930’s James Snr's son, James Jnr worked in the family business with his father, learning the trade and delivering meat to customers and cane cutters living in barracks on the cane farms in Redlynch and Kamerunga. Many of these people were of European descent and meat was a large and important part of their diet.
After a couple of years, James Snr purchased another butcher shop in nearby suburb, Stratford. This shop opened three days a week and it still exists beside the Catholic Church in Stratford today. (However, not as a butcher shop)
A little over 20 years later James Jnr (who is now known as Jim Snr) was a butcher with his own family. In 1947 he and wife Flo, purchased Edge Hill Butcher Shop on Collins Avenue, and moved with their family into the home behind the shop.
Jim Snr and Flo personally worked and managed Edge Hill Butchery every Monday to Friday for 28 years.
In the early days Friday was Edge Hill Butchery's busiest day of the week. Jim Snr and Flo would begin cutting and wrapping customer orders at 2:00am to have them ready for pick up during the day.
Just like his father did, Jim Snr kept his children Jim Jnr, Brian and Betty involved in the family business. After school the children could be found at the shop scraping the wooden cutting blocks, spreading fresh sawdust on the cement floors, cutting newspapers into wrapping sheets, scrubbing the navy and white striped aprons and delivering orders to customers.
On weekends Brian would drive to the Atherton Tablelands with his father Jim Snr to hand select and purchase cattle for the shop’s meat supply and then drive them back to Cairns in the Vallely cattle truck.
Jim Snr and Flo retired to Speewah in 1976 and their son Brian, with his wife Lorraine, purchased Edge Hill Butchery.
We extend a warm, personal invitation to you to share our family tradition and become part of our customer family.
After a new exciting renovation the current owners Rod and Julie Leaver have lovingly restored the premises combining the old and new to create an exciting destination for all of your needs.
We look forward to helping you to serve beautiful meals at your table like we do at ours.
A Family of Butchers from 1925:
James Snr Vallely
James Jnr Vallely (now known as Jim Snr)
James (Jim) Jnr Jnr Vallely