Andrew’s hams are sow good

Andrew Vourvahakis and his award-winning hams. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

By Alesha Capone

When it comes to bringing home the bacon, Andrew Vourvahakis is a champion.

His business, Andrew’s Choice Smokehouse in Laverton North, has been recognised as one of Australia’s foremost pork producers.

At the recent annual Australian PorkMark Ham Awards, the company placed first in the state – and second in the nation – for the “traditional bone-in” category.

The awards are run by Australian Pork Limited, a service body for the country’s pork industry.

Mr Vourvahakis, who established Andrew’s Choice Smokehouse 13 years ago, said he felt overjoyed to receive the ham award.

“I was excited, I was proud, I was honoured because it’s quite a big thing to win – you’re up against Australia’s best and the competition gets harder and harder every year,” he said.

Mr Vourvahakis said he believed the secret of his success was paying attention to small details.

His smokehouse – which only uses Australian pork – can produce up to a ton of sausages a day, or between 500 to 600 kilograms of ham.

Mr Vourvahakis, who has been a butcher and smallgoods maker for 25 years, said he started in the industry as a child.

His father Emmanouil was a partner at a Yarraville butcher, and at the age of 10, Mr Vourvahakis started out washing trays at the shop, standing on a milkcrate to reach the sink.

“My dad never forced me to work, it was a labour of love – I think that’s why I followed in his footsteps,” Mr Vourvahakis said.