A lot has changed on Cooma Street since the 1960s. Old corner shops have become houses and unit blocks are beginning to crowd out the suburban brick dwellings that once dominated the street.
A Queanbeyan resident from 50 years ago would instantly recognise the showground and the Lindbeck family butchery, both are still going strong.
In fact, by now Lindbeck’s Butchery is probably the oldest surviving family business in Queanbeyan. In the early 1970s there were 22 or so butcher shops in town; only three have survived.
The convenience offered by large supermarket chains have slowly but surely undercut local butchers shops. Extended trading hours were the final blow to many of these struggling family businesses.
Fortunately, Lindbeck’s has survived through the tough times to become a local intuition.
The families vocation was founded on a brotherly rivalry in 1928 when Jim and Tom Lindbeck both opened butcher shops on Monaro Street. The two Lindbeck brothers set up opposite each other and in direct competition.
Claude Lindbeck, the third brother, ran stock for both butcher shops and his son Thomas “Bill” Lindbeck bought the shop in its current location on Cooma Street in 1964.
Peter Lindbeck took over the family business in 1998 and has now worked in the same store for 40 years, ever since starting with his dad in 1978. Peter and his wife Ruth have have raised a family of five children in Queanbeyan.
None among his four daughters and one son are keen to take up the carving knife. However, Peter is hopeful one of his eight grandchildren has a local butcher in them yet.
Lindbeck sausages are still made on the premises, with a range of over 30 different varieties on offer. They use only natural sausage skins and offer offer gluten free, and gluten and preservative free sausages.
In fact, Lindbeck’s Butchery still cures (pickles) meat using the old fashioned method that has not changed in over 70 years. This technique produces the most flavoursome end result possible.
A range of meat packs and bulk meat discounts are available. Peter likes to talk directly to each customer, so he can cut the meat to their liking, so don’t just order online.
Indeed, you may have already had a Lindbeck’s sausage without knowing it, their raffle trays are used by clubs all over town.
The shop and the Lindbeck family remain heavily involved in the local community. With a bit of luck and some more decent cuts Lindbeck’s will celebrate a century in 10 years time.