July 6, 2022
Discover the humble beginnings of Searles® garden products, founded by Con and Jenny Searle in 1977. From 5 products in plastic bags to a cement mixer.
Searles® garden products are the result of very humble beginnings. In 1977, a two person team, husband and wife Con and Jenny Searle started the business ‘Sunshine Coast Organic Fertilisers Distributors' at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.
Originally only 5 products were manufactured in clear plastic bags with wire tied tops. These five products were sold to household gardeners on the Sunshine Coast. All work was done the hard old-fashioned way, with a shovel, a wheelbarrow and a Holden Ute. Soon after, a cement mixer was added to the list. At the time, this was a grand acquisition and we have kept it still to this day.
1979 saw the commencement of sales to retail garden centers and nurseries on the Sunshine Coast and these sales eventually spread to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Northern NSW and as far north as Rockhampton in Central Qld. Con & Jenny Searle continued to work solidly as a team, employing a small number of staff to help them. During this time, Con and Jenny worked hard to pay for the education of their two sons, Jason and Ashley.
In 1985, Con and Jenny decided to involve both Jason and Ashley into the business. The family company J.C. & A.T. Searle Pty Ltd was then formed and took over the business of Sunshine Coast Organic Fertilisers Distributors and Suncoast Organic Fertilisers. At this time all of the blending and packaging was performed on a one acre site at Caloundra.
Over the next five years, the business expanded and grew at a rapid pace. Many new products were produced and J.C. & A.T. Searle Pty Ltd was appointed as a distributor of a wide range of home gardening products. Sales expanded to encompass all of Queensland including the Far North Qld, Darwin in NT, Western NSW and the North Coast of NSW from Tweed Heads down to Newcastle.
The operation outgrew the one acre site at Caloundra and at one stage, was operating from five different sites in the Caloundra district. Available space ran out. More land was required for the company to continue to expand and service our valued clients.
Con and Jenny purchased a very large parcel of industrial land at Kilcoy in Southeast Qld and it was decided to move the operations from Caloundra to the new Kilcoy site. The relocation took all of four years to complete. The new site was engineered and constructed specially to suit our operations.
A very diverse and effective water catchment, tree planting and dam building scheme was completed which is a major part of our total environmental management plan. Tree planting saw the reintroduction of many native bird and animal species onto the manufacturing site and the dams were stocked with native fish species.
The necessary factories, storage warehouse and office facilities were built to facilitate an expanding range and demand for Searles® branded products.
Today, Searles manufacture and distribute over 4700 individual products for the home gardener. These products are distributed throughout the eastern seaboard of Australia and to valued overseas customers. Searles now employs approximately 75 personnel, including administration, sales, research, technical, design, production, warehousing and distribution staff.
What began as a two person, five product business complete with shovel, wheelbarrow and Holden Ute, has grown into a 75 person, 4700 product company with some of the most advanced production, research and distribution facilities.
All members of the Searle family are very active in the business, which has allowed Searles to dedicate all its efforts to ensure all products are of the highest quality, innovative and exceed customer expectations. Searles range of potting mixes, composts, fertilisers and other garden additives are specially designed to provide extended feeding for plants to produce beautiful flowers, exhilarating growth and simply delightful displays.
We are certain your experiences with Searles products will be rewarding and they are products which you can trust. We also thank you for supporting a family-owned Australian company.
This website is designed to provide relevant information about our core range products. Details include what comprises the mix, how long the fertiliser lasts and other information to allow you to choose the most suitable product for your needs.