Our Story

Pickers turns 20!

Pickers Halaal Meat Centre is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

To mark this special occasion, we will be hosting a sale and some festivities on Saturday, 25 October from 10am until 3pm. Family entertainment will include a DJ, braai stands and balloons for the children. The day’s activities will culminate with a grand-prize draw held independently at each store. The in-store competition which runs from now until then, stipulates a minimum purchase of R100 and includes a third prize of a cast-iron potjie, a second prize of a braai-utensil set and a first prize of a Weber braai stand. Entry forms are available at each branch, and entrants must be present at the draw on the day.

The Pickers’ team lives by its motto ‘Our quality sells itself’. You get what you pay for. We never compromise our quality for price! We only sell the best because we buy the best. It is our intention to sell you, our customer, the very best quality, fresh, A-grade meats and meat products in the most hygienic environment possible, with the friendliest of service, giving you the best value for your money.

Using time-honoured skills to dress its meats, the emphasis at Pickers Halaal Meat Centre is on- hand butchering. Whatever’s in your pack of meat is going tobe used. Most excess sinew, fat and bone have been trimmed off. Within each pack, there is as little wastage as possible; you only pay for the meat you purchase and not the packaging, as we even deduct the weight of the packaging itself.

In addition to its traditional butchery, Pickers Halaal Meat Centre features a small wholesale division – supplying a handful of restaurants and takeaways. Its retail division, in turn, has grown organically into a one-stop boutique food store and delicatessen stocked to the brim with a wide selection of pantry essentials. Among these are gourmet spices, marinades and sauces; pre-packed fruit and vegetables, frozen foods as well as pre-packed grilled-meats – a most recent addition.

Visit our stores and you will find ideas on what to make your family for supper, you’ll find everything you need is right here - from recipe books, to fresh pre-packed vegetables, groceries and condiments, all under one roof. This convenience makes it easy for you to cook your family an amazing meal at a fraction of the price that it would cost at a reasonably priced restaurant.

Cornerstone of Picker’s success

Key to the success of Pickers Meat Centre has been the longstanding relationships the Gangraker family has built with its staff, suppliers and clients.

The staff complement at Pickers Meat Centre is one big family and have a vested interest in seeing the business succeed. This is due, in part, to an incentivised staff-performance programme started at Pickers about 10 years ago.

We always stress that we are here to work together and that together we can all achieve more. The realisation from the staff that we’re all here for the same common goal – to earn our living and for each one of us to grow within the business – is a huge turnaround for the business and has improved our levels of service.  A lot of clientele pick up on this and they comment on how friendly and committed our staff is. We work hard to create a good, happy and safe working environment for them.

We also acknowledge the relationships we have built up with its suppliers and service providers, many of whom date back as far as 1975. In terms of all our wholesalers, they understand what our commitment to our clients is, and they understand our need to provide only the best quality and service for our customers. We recognise that it’s because of their excellent service that we can be as committed as we are to our clientele.

Last but not least, we are grateful for all the support we’ve received from you, our loyal clients – some of whom goes as far back as 39 years when you first shopped at Fowlers Moslem Butchery. We thank them, not only for their loyal patronage but also for encouraging us to make the changes we have made in our stores. When we hear how pleased you are with our products and service offerings, it affirms to us that our quality is good, and acknowledges the consistent efforts we’re putting into improving ourselves. Our customers’ support gives us the inspiration to do better. We hope to continue that relationship with them in the future.

Our History

Picker’s heritage dates back to February 1975 when our late father, Omar Essack Gangraker bought Fowlers Butchery - a small butchery only but the size of a double garage - on the corner of Klip and Zeekoe Roads in Lotus River. Even though the business remained a small traditional butchery servicing the lower to middle income group in the heart of the apartheid era, he insisted on selling quality meats and products to his clientele. He always maintained that “we should sell to our clients only what we would eat for ourselves”. This philosophy is the very thread that binds us with our customers today.His eldest son, Khalil joined him in the business in November 1987.

historical - 1a

Bashir Joseph (Blockman), left,and Ebrahim Kasker (Manager) at Fowlers Butchery – circa 1975

Consequently, Omar moved his business to Grassy Park in 1988, at which point he relaunched the butchery. Subsequently, Omar gave Khalil the opportunity and assistance to start his own butchery. As a result, the first Picker’s Halaal Meat Centre was launched in 1994 at Akbarallys Centre - today an important Grassy Park commercial hub. Later, in 1998, Omar opened the second store, in Prince Park Shopping Centre, Prince George Drive, with his youngest son, Essack.

Instrumental to the stores’ success, was the late Joey Philander, who served as the butcheries’ Head-blockman for more than10 years. His experience at dressing meat – a skill he passed on to Khalil, Essack and their staff - has been the cornerstone of Pickers reputation as a preferred supplier of handcrafted Halaal meats.

 “During that time he gave us brilliant and dedicated service. He brought a lot of his experience into the business and has left a legacy behind. I personally have learnt a lot from him in terms of meat cuts, presentation and customer satisfaction,” Khalil said.

When Fowlers Butchery closed down in 2002 – marking Omar’s retirement, the inaugural Pickers Meat Centre began manufacturing its own top quality cold meats, a move that has earned Pickers such a reputation that it attracts customers from as far afield as Strand and Somerset West.


“Thank you for your hard work, Bronwyn”

Of all the staff at Pickers Halaal Meat Centre, Bronwyn Frans – store supervisor at the Lake Road branch, is the longest serving staff member having just completed 10 years of service with the company. This month she received a trophy for excellent services rendered and to commend her loyalty and dedication.

Bronwyn started working at Pickers Halaal Meat Centre as a packer at the age of 17. She very soon worked herself up to become a counterhand. “This was a very big challenge for me. I had to learn a lot of things such as what the different cuts of meats are, and how to deliver good customer service. I learnt quickly and quite a bit over the years,” she says.  

Today she’s proud to say she’s a supervisor.

“Bronwyn is a dedicated, loyal person. She is honest and upright in her principles and these attributes contribute to her excellent work ethic and work performance,” said Khalil. “Bronwyn has, over the years, proved and improved herself and has grown within the business. She’s a good example to the rest of the staff that if you’re willing to take initiative, work hard, and to be open to learning, the sky’s the limit.”

“I am very proud of my achievements, at work and in my personal life, and look forward to facing any future challenges,” says Bronwyn. “All thanks to the Pickers team, I overcame many obstacles. This is my second family, my home away from home. Pickers made me feel this way and 10 years on, I am still very happy.”

For further information visit www.pickersmeat.co.za, or fill in the in-store survey forms. Include your cellphone number and you’ll be eligible for Group sms notifications viz specials and upcoming announcements. Remember, too, Pickers’ free delivery service for orders over R500. The service is available in selected areas of Cape Town. T&Cs apply.

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