WHEN it comes to the meaty issues, Simon Pyne is a state leader.
In fact, he's one the best.
The Bowral butcher and owner of Simon's Gourmet Butchery recently won Meat and Livestock Australia's NSW/ACT Best Retail Butcher Award at Sydney Convention Centre.
Mr Pyne's business won the award's category one, for butcheries employing four full-time butchers or less.
He said he did not know he was going to win the award before it was announced, which his business took home for the first time in front of 110 other butchers from throughout NSW and the ACT.
"It's a very prestigious award to win," he said.
"It was a real shock."
Mr Pyne became a butcher in 1998 and opened Simon's Gourmet Butchery in Springetts' Arcade in May last year.
Since then he and his staff, wife, Kelly, father, Col, and second year apprentice Brian Wyatt have supported about 60 Highlands community organisations through donations of meat, time and money.
"We cooked 20kg of rump steak on a spit at Relay for Life and donated all the money back," Mr Pyne said.
"It took about five hours to cook and was gone in about 20 minutes.
"We try to support the people that support us."
Mr Pyne said he would work about 90 hours each week, but it was work he loved.
He said his wife's support was crucial, with the Pyne family's busy schedule rounded out with four children: a two-year-old, a four-year-old, a six-year-old and a seven-year-old.
"My wife is very understanding and I really enjoy what I do," he said.
"I enjoy being in the arcade where people walk past and, even if they don't stop and buy something, they say 'g'day'.
"You get to know people on a personal level."