We’ve seen it all
The Great Depression, two World Wars, the introduction of cars, air travel, colour television, the internet, mobile phones, e-commerce and even a global pandemic – we’ve seen it all. The ability to grow, adapt, reinvent, test and challenge is at our core, and has been since 1884.
Who we are
Founded in 1884 by French entrepreneur Fernand Levy (later Levic), Stuart Alexander & Co. is a strong and proud Australian company with a rich story, spanning some of the most important events in modern history. Originally bound for Ceylon, 23-year-old Levic was convinced by his ship’s Captain to embark on a new adventure in the young British colonies of Australia. The promise of new opportunities swayed the young merchant and he remained onboard as the ship set sail for New South Wales.
A natural businessman, Levic established a successful import business, employing sales representatives to demonstrate products and to take orders, until 1890, when the company’s eventual namesake Charles Stuart Alexander joined the business as a commercial traveller. Fernand and Charles became partners when Levic sold him a share of the business for a mere 100 pounds.
In 1920, after spending 36 years forging his much-loved enterprise, Fernand called it a day and passed his share of the business to his 19-year-old son, Gerald. Infused with his father’s explorer’s spirit, 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 holding and Charles Alexander joined his friend Fernand in retirement.
Adversity begets opportunity and Gerald, seeing an opportunity, began importing canned foods. He also used existing shelving to provide instant delivery to customers – a move which helped the company stay afloat during the Great Depression. As the company grew from strength to strength, Wesley Browne (who joined as a 16-year-old messenger) was appointed Managing Director in 1976 and dedicated his working life to developing the business into a well-recognised and respected company, both in Australia and internationally.
Retiring in 1995, Wesley was succeeded by his son, Garry Browne, bringing a focus on food and premium brands as the company found new direction. Garry remained Managing Director until January 2018, when Nick Nairn was appointed CEO. Having joined the business in early 2017 as General Manager Sales & Marketing, Nick brings a strong background in FMCG having previously held senior positions in DB Breweries Australia, Frucor and PepsiCo.
Garry Browne AM
Chair Of The Board
Garry Browne AM was formerly the CEO and Managing Director of Stuart Alexander & Co. (1997 – 2017).
Chief Executive Officer
Nick Nairn was formerly General Manager Sales & Marketing and took over as CEO in 2018. Nick brings a strong background in FMCG having previously held senior positions in DB Breweries Australia, Frucor and PepsiCo.
Head of Finance
Head of Marketing - Confectionery
Head of Transformation
Director of Sales
Head of Supply Chain
Head of Marketing - Food & Beverage
Stuart Alexander is a wholesale confectionery, food and beverages business and was founded in 1884 by French entrepreneur Fernand Levy (later Levic).
Stuart Alexander & Co. is a strong and proud Australian company with a rich story, spanning some of the most important events in modern history.
We're a small business so we can be agile and bold. We are trusted and empowered to try, to risk, to question, challenge, discuss and decide.
We work together to do the right thing, we take responsibility for our actions and outcomes, we own our decisions, and we learn from mistakes.
We share our knowledge, information and experience, our friendship, our time, the company's history and our key learnings.
SAY IT SIMPLY
We communicate clearly, honestly, respectfully and simply.
We care about ourselves, our colleagues, our careers, our brands and the community.