Where It All Started
Carlo Cavallaro was born in Sicily and migrated to Australia with his parents, when he was just 14 years old. Typical of many immigrants from that era and with no formal schooling in Australia, Carlo worked extremely hard at learning the ‘Australian way’ and integrating into his local community.
With a passion for tinkering and electronics, Carlo quickly found a position doing radio and televisions repairs and electrical installations in homes on weekends.
As Carlo matured, he later joined Bonds as a knitting machine technician and ran a knitting mill in the US for 5 years before returning to Australia in 1975. Whilst overseas, he took the opportunity to also complete a Business Degree at the University of California, skills that would later serve him in setting up his many future business ventures.
In the early 80’s Carlo purchased 3 Payless Supermarkets and moved to Tamworth, making it and the surrounding areas the base for his many business ventures. His business today employs approximately 1500 people, with 300 of these employed in the Tamworth area alone.
Further to the above, Carlo has focused on growing his business “locally” and has expanded to include 6 stores in the Tamworth local council area and 25 plus stores across NSW & Qld, with plans for a number of new stores by the end of 2013. In addition to the IGA venture, Carlo has also invested heavily in the Tamworth region with residential / commercial subdivisions and an adjoining gated residential unit complex.
In the construction and development phase of any venture, Carlo has been a firm believer in using local labour and materials. For example, when Gilgandra, Calala and other local stores were constructed; the head contractor (a Tamworth based business) was advised to use local labour where possible which highlights exactly how important keeping things local is for Carlo.
In summary, the Carlo’s IGA chain is truly a family run business with much of the family involved in running the 25+ stores from an operational perspective. The Group’s goal is to continue to be a point of difference with sales and service, and continue to ensure that those community groups surrounding any Carlo’s IGA business keep on receiving the support they deserve. – less