Local store celebrates 32 years in Gladstone and 100 in Queensland
A CENTURY ago George James arrived from England and set up shop, keeping the company in the family for 100 years.
Originally launching the first G.James Glass and Aluminium in Brisbane in 1917, the stores popped up across the country, including one in Gladstone in 1985.
G.James Glass and Aluminium manager Robert Astill said the store had consistently been operated by family.
"The company is family owned and operated and always has been,” Mr Astill said.
The Gladstone branch has been in town for 32 years and Mr Astill said it was a productive decision due to the industry work in Gladstone.
"The Gladstone branch has been here for 30 odd years and up until recently we employed about 27 staff but due to the downturn we've only got a couple there now,” he said.
"It was a very reluctant decision to scale the operation back to where we have.
"We're still maintaining a presence in the area and when things improve we'll start employing more people.”
Mr Astill said the diverse company was responsible for more than glass production, producing furniture and scaffolding.
Their bright blue bus shelters are all over Gladstone and Mr Astill said they could be found out the front of the hospital and at East Shores.
"A lot of money and effort is spent on research and development and finding another niche in the market,” he said.
Across 35 branch locations, the company has more than 2000 employees and Mr Astill said there were great plans for the future.
"Make it another 100 years,” he said. "I've been with the business for 28 years and started on the factory floor ... there's so much opportunity.”