CHRISTMAS MEAL: Barney Point Butchery is ready for the Christmas rush. Butcher’s assistants Hannah Reid, 22, and Wade Mikkelsen, 16, ham it up.
CHRISTMAS MEAL: Barney Point Butchery is ready for the Christmas rush. Butcher’s assistants Hannah Reid, 22, and Wade Mikkelsen, 16, ham it up. Mike Richards GLA141113MEAT

Festive feast easy when you shop for meat locally

BARNEY Point Butchery will ham it up this Christmas - all in the name of festive cheer.

More than 20 tonnes of ham is expected to go out the door this season, with turkey, chicken and pork also popular trolley treats.

Owner Brenda Sutcliffe said the Gladstone's Christmas craziness was on par with the Easter rush.

"We have people lining up out the door," Mr Sutcliffe said.

"Around the end of November and the start of December is usually when we get prepared for Christmas."

Last week Mr Sutcliffe received eight pallets of ham and more meat is on the way.

"Ham, by far, is the most popular purchase over Christmas," Mr Sutcliffe said.

Across town Gladstone Seafood Market is also gearing up for the silly season.

Owner Simon Whittingham said fresh prawns were a popular choice with shoppers, followed by mud crab and oysters.

"Three months ago we started preparing for the Christmas rush," Mr Whittingham said.

Thousands of people are expected to come through the fish market doors, with December 23 and 24 the busiest days.

"We run a well-oiled machine, we like to get people through quite quickly," Mr Whittingham said.

Mr Whittingham hopes to build on last year's busy period.

"We have been struggling since September and October in 2011 after Gladstone Harbour was closed," he said.

"Christmas 2010 was the busiest we had been, ever."