3rd Generation Family Business Survives COVID-19 to Mark 50-Year Milestone

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The 3 generations of the Linzner family return to the site of the original 1970s factory in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Image Provided
Media Release

While many small businesses have unfortunately succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Linzner family are resolved to fight through no-matter-what using their 50-years of experience.

This November, 3 generations of the Linzner family mark 50 years running their manufacturing business in Melbourne, Australia. It’s a seriously tough time for all during this global pandemic, however, this story of endurance offers a glimmer of hope in the strenuous world of small business.

Following an apprenticeship in working with wire back in 1949, hard-working immigrant Jakob honed his hands-on manufacturing skills. In 1970 Jakob teamed up with his son Jake to take the plunge and launch their own manufacturing business, located in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

Father and son worked tirelessly together in their single-story brick factory sandwiched between a laneway and residential houses. They specialised in manufacturing deep-fryer baskets, trays, racks, animal traps and other wire products, supplying large wholesalers and direct to store. Even during those early years, they focused on manufacturing premium quality products combined with personal and attentive service to their customers – no matter large or small. This led to a growing and positive reputation within the community.

A decade later, they sought larger premises and relocated to Keilor East, which allowed for expansion to manufacturing chain. The next 20 years saw them outgrow their space and move 3 more times and further diversifying their range of chain and wire products.

Jake’s son Michael officially joined the family business in 2010. Learning that diversity of products was integral to keeping afloat, they took the calculated risk of purchasing additional warehouse space and further expanded to sell concrete reinforcing, balustrading, marine fittings, load restraint equipment, general hardware – and just about everything in-between.

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In March 2020, as COVID-19 was sweeping the world, a new and much improved online store (chain.com.au) was launched in order to reach the general public directly. This was timely considering the upcoming restrictions in movement and growth of online shopping.

Producing around 1 million metres of chain each year, this family trio has certainly come a long way in its 50-year history.

The hours are long, the work is hard, and the profit margins are small, but the Linzner family proudly continue the time-honoured tradition of Australian manufacturing.

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