Wheatons’ Store was borne from a desire to take control of what we produce on our family farm. We have always taken great pride in our methods and the quality of what we produce. We are passionate about creating a product that is of a high quality whilst decreasing food miles.
After attending a 4 day workshop with Joel Salatin (www.polyfacefarms.com) in late 2012, we realised that taking greater control of our produce from ‘paddock to plate’ would help us to make a difference in farming and general food production.
By managing our produce in this way we can decrease the fuel burned to put meat on local plates whilst also supporting businesses that are close to home.
To ensure this we are looking to have set delivery points in towns within 2 hours of our farm.
Wheaton’s Store has a proud family tradition. Vern is a fourth generation farmer, working the land that was settled by his great-grandfather. This family business is run by husband and wife team Vern and Jo, and Vern’s parents Stephen and Esmae are still involved full time on the farm.
The property boasts over 2500 acres and is situated just south of the Big Desert in Western Victoria. Dryland cropping, sheep and cattle have been the mainstays of the farm. In early 2012 a small number of free range pigs were added to the business. These heritage breeds are ethically bred and lovingly raised free range.
This initially small venture has gained a small niche in the local community and our customers are people who care where their food comes from and how it is produced.
Our meat is transferred from our butcher (AWE Richards Butchers and Abattoir) in our Primesafe Accredited Meat Transport vehicle and delivered directly to our customers. This also affords us the opportunity to meet directly with our customer base and our customers get to know the people who raised the animals. We believe this is important as we can promote our animal’s welfare and the quality of our product. Although we do not have any formal free range accreditation we believe that the best form of accreditation comes with transparency. People can see for themselves how we care for our animals by visiting us online or in person.
The Original Wheatons’ Store
The history of our family farm is very important to us. The original Wheatons’ Store opened in 1903 in Miram on land bought by Vern’s Great Grandfather. The position gave ready access to the railway line for easy supply of goods which was then available through the shop and to surrounding farms via home delivery. This shop was owned and managed by another branch of the family tree until it closed in 2000.
When we decided to open an online store the name seemed perfect, honouring our history while bringing it into the present. Wheatons’ Store lives again in an online format. We look forward to meeting new customers and seeing what the future holds for our family venture.