Meat to You


A new café named Meat to You has recently opened its doors in Bell Block, New Plymouth, with a strong emphasis on sourcing ingredients locally to reduce food miles. Displayed prominently in the deli section are meats sourced from nearby farms, which also serve as key ingredients in the café’s menu items.

Co-owned by farmer Shane McDonald, the café aims to eliminate the intermediary steps in the food supply chain by directly delivering produce to customers. Notably, the brisket and mac and cheese pie from Meat to You’s offerings are highly sought-after during lunch hours.

Shane McDonald, who co-owns the establishment and is also a farmer, expressed that all beef used in their dishes originates from their family farm, located less than 10km away. The McDonald family manages two farms in Lepperton and Paraite, totaling about 100 hectares, where approximately 200 beef cattle graze.


Barista Nicole Hoban and co-owner and manager Kylie McDonald say their pies are so popular that many people call in the morning to reserve theirs.

The emphasis on locally sourced ingredients is evident in the café’s offerings, with steaks and mince available in the deli section, alongside Reuben sandwiches and mince and cheese pies in the cabinet. This commitment to low food miles ensures that customers can enjoy products that are sourced from nearby farms, supporting local agriculture.

Shane McDonald’s background growing up on a dairy farm in Stratford instilled in him a passion for beef production. Over the years, he became frustrated with the disconnect between raising cattle and reaching consumers, leading him to establish a direct link by setting up an abattoir on the farm and delivering produce directly to customers.

Originally, meat was sold from a chiller on the farm only on Fridays and Saturdays. However, recognizing the demand for their products, the McDonalds decided to expand their operations by opening the café in Bell Block. Here, they not only showcase their Taranaki produce but also serve it in a variety of dishes, including burgers, sandwiches, and pies.

Manager Kylie McDonald highlighted the convenience for customers to order online and pick up their food from the café, with some even pre-ordering popular items like mac and cheese pies in advance. Prepared in a food truck attached to the café, the menu also features meats sourced from other Taranaki producers, further supporting the local agricultural community.