Generation to generation

As family owned businesses, the story of stores passing from father to child is familiar to many IGA retailers. Here are just some of them. From our families to yours – wishing you a Happy Father’s Day!

Mr Nick and Spero Chapley – proud owners of Foodland IGA Frewville and Pasadena

After fleeing Greece during WW2, and living in refugee camps for years, Nick Chapley, proud owner of Foodland IGA Frewville and Pasadena migrated to Australia with his family in 1949. They launched their first family business – a café – just a few years later, and through years of hard work, discipline and putting customers first, this evolved over time, into two of Australia’s finest supermarkets.

This combination of values has been passed onto Nick’s son Spero, who has taken over the day to day operations of the families two supermarkets. Spero says: “I’ve been lucky enough to work with my father as a business partner since I was 18 years old and he is my best friend.

“What has always defined my father’s way of doing business, is never forgetting who you are, where you came from and who helped you on the way. This is something that he has passed onto me and we consider it a real privilege to serve our local community and be an advocate for local brands, producers and suppliers.

“Dad has always said that our staff and customers are all like family. And what do you for your family? You do your best for them and that is what we try and do every day.”

Lee-Anne Woodgate and Oliver Bertoncini – proud owners of IGA Pearsall

Oliver and Roseanne Bertoncini have been familiar faces in Perth since buying their first delicatessen in 1974 which traded 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

Over the years and many different size and shape supermarkets, they cemented themselves as in integral part of their local community, with Oli’s tradition of handing Freddo Frogs to kids shopping with their mums earning him the affectionate title of ‘The Freddo Man’.

After growing up in the storerooms of the many stores her parents owned, Lee-Anne Woodgate took the leap to continue the family tradition of retailing, buying IGA Pearsall with husband Adam and her parents. The combination of good old-fashioned service, and a modern approach to doing business has made them the perfect team to serve the local community.

“Both Dad and Mum are an inspiration to our entire family – as role models for working hard, treating people with respect and achieving great results,” said Lee-Anne.

“Dad is passionate about looking after his staff. We have 10 staff members who have been with us for more than 20 years as a result of his kindness. It is such a privilege to work alongside my dad every day, and his grandchildren, who no doubt will be part of the family business one day too, are so lucky to have the example of Nonno to learn from.”

Tony, Natalie and Frank Spano – proud owners of Spanos IGA stores Queensland

Tony and Natalie Spano opened their first convenience store in 1990 after moving their family to Queensland in search of a better life.

Over the years this has grown from a single store to a more diverse group that includes six IGA stores and employs over 400 staff. The family business is now led by their son Frank who worked his way through the ranks, starting on the checkouts aged 13, during his school holidays.

Frank says: “At times over the years it has been challenging working with family, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. Dad has always pushed me, wanting what was best for the customer and best for our family. However, this has meant that I am always thinking ahead, looking for ways to put our customers first and exceed their expectations wherever possible.

“We come from a tight knit Italian family and we always try to make time for each other outside of work. It is important to make that separation when you work with your family.

“My Dad has definitely passed his love of retail onto me and one of the most important things he taught me is to stay true to your values. I’m proud to live by that mantra.”

Trevor and Alwyn Fredericks – proud owners of Fredericks IGA Jamberoo

IGA Jamberoo has been in the Fredericks Family for over 90 years. Opened in 1924 by Ernest Fredericks, four generations have worked in the business and throughout that time the family has been an integral part of the fabric of the local community.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work with my father from a very young age, spending lots of quality time together over the years working with the common goal of serving our local community,” says Trevor.

“Dad has always been passionate about looking after the customers and doing what is right for our community. This is something that he passed onto me and since taking over the reins, I have always tried to put the locals first.”

The important role IGA Jamberoo played in the community was never more apparent than when the store burnt to the ground.

“The store had been there for much longer than any of us had lived for and no one could believe it was gone,” said Trevor.

“We had a real responsibility for the sake of the town to try and put the store back as quickly as possible, operating out of a temporary location so that the locals didn’t go without.

When the new store opened it was a huge town affair with a well-known local commenting: “The world is right again – Freddos IGA is back.”

The D’Anna Family – proud owners of Boccaccio IGA Balwyn

With three generations working in the store and 11 grandchildren on the checkouts Boccaccio Supa IGA Balwyn truly is a family affair.

“My Dad and my Uncle started Boccaccio IGA in 1958, selling bread, spaghetti and oil to the crowds of Italian migrants in Melbourne,” says Anthony D’Anna.  They worked hard, took risks and were selling cheeses, parma ham and mortadella before most people even knew what a deli looked like.

“Growing up we spent a huge amount of time in the store. We always followed our father around work on our school holidays. It was exciting and we were lucky to able to spend time with him. Dad has always taught us that being kind and respectful and working hard will allow you to succeed in almost anything you do in life.

“Fast forward thirty years and today, together with my brothers and sister we consider ourselves extremely lucky to be working together with our father every day. We remain passionate about food, wine and sharing a little piece of Italy with our customers, who are more like friends and family, every day.”

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