It all began with Juan Garcia while growing up in Chillan Chile, the capital of ‘Traditional Chilean Smallgoods” such as the Longanizas, Arrollado Huaso and Chorizos. He was sadly left without a father at the tender age of 12. Being the oldest of two siblings, he began to work in a local smallgoods shop by the age of 13.
His dedication and circumstance kept him in this job for the next few years until he had the vision of moving to the capital city, Santiago, where he knew could improve his skills and knowledge by working with some of the top German Butchers that were reputable and well established.
Over the years after starting a family in 1942, Juan became chief production manager in “La Chilenita”, one of Chile’s top Smallgoods factories at the time (still exists today).
Theo, came into the business at the age of 14, working alongside his father and learning the trade. Theo developed the desire to have his own shop, so by the time he was 19 he set up his business “Garcia e Hijos" on the corner of Edison and Santa Genoveva, Quinta Normal, Santiago Chile.
Theo owned and operated this store successfully until 1976 when he made a life changing decision to come to the best country in world, Australia.
Landing in Sydney Australia with a young family, (wife Margarita and two sons Cristian & Ricardo) and less than $100 in his pocket, Theo set out to work immediately, he worked at various factories as a labourer and and machine operator and he even worked as a courier driver around Sydney! In his first year in Australia Theo bought a few small machines in which he could make a few of the products he knew and loved.
Settling in Hillsdale (Sydney Suburb) in a small unit, he would drive to Homebush abattoir with his two kids aged 6 & 7, buy a pig, some sausage casings, drive home with the pig in the boot of the car. Sons Cristian & Ricardo would keep an eye out and give their dad the go ahead as to when no one was around, so that Theo would load the pig on his shoulder and take it upon the flight of stairs on the second floor. Theo knew if the neighbours or landlord found out, he could get evicted, but that would not deter him.
Word spread about the delicacies he made very quick, this was an era where there wasn’t much diversity of food. Chileans missed their flavours and meat cuts that weren’t available in any butcher shop.
1986: This was the year when “Theos Cecinas” officially opened the doors to the public on Crown St Surry Hills.1989 opened a second store in Fairfield Heights.
1996: Settled in Fairfield West, where now the fourth generation Nicolas Garcia has completed his trade and becoming a skilful and passionate butcher.
2017: We’ve see such a huge movement in the food market over the last 20 years. Theos maintains a great reputation for high quality, integrity and passion not only for what we do, but the value and significance of our history, the hard work and sacrifice by Juan, Teodoro and Margarita. From the beginnings in 1931. In 32 years since officially opening, we have lived it all and we are still here, strong and determined.
To maintain the integrity & quality of our heritage products and represent our food in the best possible way, by keeping our family tradition of making ‘Small Batches’.
Our past has beautiful treasures and they are in our old family recipe book which can be brought to life to tell you the story of our four generations, and we see a great future in a dying trade, as supermarkets and factories get bigger, our strength is in our small batch, family run, old fashion service approach, we believe there is a place in the market for such a store. Theos Cecinas