Wagyu cattle new chapter

Changes: Coastal entrepreneur Craig Brakey has gone from fast food and wagyu pies to focus on being a cattle breeder. Picture: Cordell RichardsonDown the track, atourism venture around his grass-fed wagyu cattleoperation at Sheffieldcould becomethe next chapter in the future ofCoastal entrepreneur Craig Brakey.
Nanjing Night Net

AfterBrakey sold his McDonaldsfranchises in Burnie and Ulverstoneseveral years ago, he movedinto wagyu breeding at a property at Nookwherewife Angela trains race horses. Grangemoore Park hasmagnificent viewsofMount Roland. Mrs Brakey’s sisters werewagyu breeders atHammond Farm and Waterhouse Tas. The Brakeys developed theirown fledgling herd and madepies for theirWagyu Pie Company and Bakehouse in Devonport, which the couplejust sold with thenew proprietors to takeover on March 1.After an approach to buythe bakehouse fell throughit wasadvertised and sold to local buyers. With interest in wagyu still growing in Australia, Brakeywantedto focus on the improvement ofhis herd. “I have 185 wagyu cattle scattered onproperties at Sheffield. I neededto consolidate…I’m interested in breeding and producing grass-fed wagyu,” he said.

How satisfying isit to start from scratch?

Before McDonalds I worked for myself andwas confident to do well here.We’ve stillgot the horses, the farm and cattle and with this it wasa bit much now. When you go into business you’ve got to make every post a winner. In this industry you need to be in the business yourself; people like to see you.I actually got the cattle part wrong at the start.I didn’t have enough cattle in reservewhich was an ongoing problem with supplying (meat for pies). Interest was coming from all over but I didn’t have thebeef and it’s too expensive to buy in.

Who are the new bakehouse owners?Kylie and Peter Langford, of Devonport,he’s a chef,she makes cakes and they have worked here for the last five months.

What’s your view on the Living City project?

I’m very optimistic about it for Devonport and the whole North-West. The concept is great. It’s fantastic to see it started…people are going to walk right past here…

What else is in your future?

I’ve still got a passion to try a couple of things. Ange and I would like to do something where we can work together. Something to do with cattle. We could do something tourism-based at Sheffield -I think there isendless potential in wagyu andI’d like to work on the quality ofthe grass we grow. (Wagyu finished on grain fatten quicker)

What’s your advice to young entrepreneurs?

Younger people these days tend to set goals high and are not prepared to work their way up. A lot of the time to go forwards you’ve got to go backwards. I did itplenty of times and had to bide time in jobs to get to the next step.

Rich stakes: Premium wagyu steaks from cattle bred by Craig and Angela Brakey.

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