FOCUS ON – River Valley Meats: home of the tasty sausage

by Helen Martin

Andy and Wendy with their children Daniel and Ashleigh

In great news for South Kaipara locals, Kumeu Meat Processors owners Andy and Wendy Cummings have a new, tandem business River Valley Meats, selling high quality, locally produced meat directly to the public. The owners bring a lot of expertise and experience to the enterprise, with Andy having worked for over 15years in the food service industry, including with Goodman Fielder and Kiwi Bacon and Hams. Wendy works in the finance and property industry and manages the books for River Valley Meats. Their Head Butcher is Brad Walters, formerly of Clark’s Organic Butchery, Glen Eden and Andy’s twin brother Snowy has returned from overseas and is helping out with some of the day-to-day operations of the business.
The son of well-known former Helensville cop Dennis Cummings and community stalwart Leigh Cummings, Andy has lived his whole life in Helensville and is very passionate about the place. He enjoyed his time at school, first attending Helensville Primary School, where he’s proud to have been times table champ in 1986, then graduating to Kaipara College. He’s very happy that daughter Ashleigh and son Daniel are now at Helensville Primary and will go on to the College in time. Andy’s Tauranga-born wife Wendy agrees that Helensville is a wonderful place.
“We have the best people, great musicians, the best beer and wine right on our doorstep and great food, which includes amazing beef and lamb produced by the finest farmers right in our own backyard, Andy says. “Everyone talks about Hawke’s Bay lamb and Canterbury beef, when we have a superior product right here in Helensville, including Richard and Dianne Kidd’s award-winning farm Whenuanui, where they raise some of the best NZ beef and lamb. We’re stoked to be selling it.”
River Valley Meats also buys free-range pork and free-range venison from Red Tussock Venison in Central Otago. The venison is turned into gourmet sausages and manuka-smoked salami. “Manuka smoking is a great way to cook beef or venison and we have a regular supply of manuka wood from a mate up South Head,” Andy says. “It takes four to five hours to smoke a salami, but it’s worth it.” River Valley Meats also has manuka smoked beef salami and their range of gourmet sausages comes in a variety of flavours.
Both Andy and Wendy are deeply connected to the local community. Wendy is Treasurer of the Helensville School PTA and Andy is involved in local cricket and rugby and the River Valley Home Brew Club. He is also on the committee of North West Country, the local business association.
The couple are proud sponsors of several local organisations; the Kaipara RSA; the 2019 Christmas Parade (though they wouldn’t let Andy play Santa); the Turning the Tide walk (a fundraiser by Kia Timata Ano Trust, the local women’s refuge serving the area); the Helensville Rugby Club; and the Helensville School PTA. They recently organised the CHILL in the VILLE music festival, which raised over $500 for the Australian Bushfire Animals.
River Valley Meats is currently running a special offer of fresh lamb sourced locally from Whenuanui Farm: half a lamb $150; whole lamb $290. You can order online. Delivered free in Helensville.
Contact Andy on 412 2007 or 021 685 199
Email: | Website: | Facebook: River Valley Meats

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