A century of Coles celebrated

THE Coles supermarket at Mowbray, its newest Launceston store, was the venue today for 100th birthday celebrations for the company.

The first Coles store opened in Collingwood on April 9, 1914, and the company is celebrating its centenary with events around the country.

The G. J. Coles story has strong Tasmanian links.

The father of founder  George J. Coles operated a store in Wilmot, in the state's north-west, from 1910 until 1921 and his younger brothers Norman and Edgar were educated in Launceston - Norman at the Launceston Church Grammar School and Edgar at Scotch College.

All were later knighted.

The first G. J. Coles store in Tasmania was opened in Brisbane St, Launceston, in 1933.

Today two long-serving staff of the company's newest store, Coles Mowbray opened in September 2012, cut a 100th birthday cake.

Store manager Peter Grossman has been with Coles for 42 years and butcher Grant Perkin started at Coles Kings Meadows 37 years ago.

Regional manager Dylan Murdoch told Mowbray staff that their store was going from strength to strength.

``We're having a similar celebration in Devonport, involving the staff and community, to celebrate  the success of our business,'' Mr Murdoch said.

``Across our  nine stores, six in Launceston and three along the coast, we current have a staff of nearly 900 people.''

The first Mowbray Coles store opened in 1976 and Mr Grossman said it had come a long way since then and now had a staff of 82.

``We're really excited about hosting a Coles Centenary event at Mowbray,'' he said.

Staff were presented with a history of G. J. Coles as part of the celebrations.

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