Hutt City Libraries Online Heritage Collection > Texts

Petone's First 100 Years (1940)


The "Ideal" Dairy, Manchester Street, Petone.

E. Caley, Proprietor.
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The indomitable courage and dogged persistence which characterised the early pioneers, is well exemplified in the life of Edward Caley, proprietor of the "Ideal" Dairy, which has been built up in twenty years progressive trading from an insignificant start, to one of the largest businesses in the Hutt Valley.
When he arrived in Wellington in 1913, after leaving his wife and two children in England, his total monetary resources were 5/-, but he had the
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more important possession of a dogged will to succeed. From his parents, who had a large family, he had inherited the gospel of hard work and self- reliance. His first job was with a laundry, where he was chosen out of eighty-four applicants, simply because he would not take "no" as an answer from his prospective employer. Losing this job through the outbreak of war, he found another as a mineral water salesman, in which he broke all New Zealand and Australian records, increasing sales more than five-fold.
As a result of a suggestion by a well-known Petone citizen, he determined to enter into business on his own account. Being a firm believer in Petone and the character of its residents, this town was chosen, and in 1918 he bought a milk round of 33 gallons, and the first week had his determination severely taxed owing to the loss of 8 gallons of business.
In the meantime, it should have been recorded he had saved several hundreds of pounds and had brought out his wife and family, and with their encouragement, determined to succeed. To-day he is serving 1,517 families and is paying over £8,000 per annum to dairy farmers for milk, thus, as he remarks, Keeping several farmers in comfortable circumstances." His wages bill amounts to over £60 a week to a contented and high wage staff. Mr. Caley holds that the cheapest labour is that of a satisfied employee.
Mr. Caley boasts that he has never had in his house, for twenty-four hours, an unpaid correct account. For the whole of his plant, no small item, and his private cars, he has paid cash.
His business motto is "Equalled by few, and excelled by none."
"Give the public a square deal and your business will look after itself," states Mr. Caley, and more especially is this so with the Petone and Hutt public whose confidence he highly appreciates.
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