Founded in 1884, Stuart Alexander & Co is a uniquely Australian company. With a story that spans some of the most important events in modern history, the company has built an inspiring and lasting legacy based on loyalty, friendship and family values - all backed by an insatiable entrepreneurial spirit.
Company founder, Fernand Levic, was born in Alsace, France in 1861. Bound for Ceylon, Levic was instead convinced by his ship’s Captain to stay aboard and explore the opportunities within the young British colonies of Australia.
Going on to establish a successful import business, Levic employed sales reps to demonstrate products and to take orders - including the company’s eventual namesake Charles Stuart Alexander who joined the business in 1890 as a commercial traveller.
Fernand Levic, retired in 1920 after 36 years in the business. He sold Charles a 50 per cent share of the business for a nominal fee making Charles an equal shareholder with Fernand's 19 year old son Gerald.
Gerald travelled throughout Australia, New Zealand and across to Europe and America acquiring agencies for the company. In 1930, with the country in the grip of the Great Depression, Gerald purchased the remaining 50 per cent holding and Charles retired.
It was at this time that Gerald starting importing canned foods and became an agent for pharmaceuticals. He also started holding shelf stock for instant delivery - all of which contributed to helping the company stay afloat during the Great Depression.
Wesley Browne (who had joined the company as a 16 year old messenger) was appointed Managing Director in 1976 and the company moved to Rosebery in Sydney. Wesley dedicated his working life to developing the business into a well-recognised and respected company, both in Australia and overseas.
When Wesley retired his son, Garry succeeded him in 1995 bringing a focus on food and premium brands as the company found new direction.