AN Albury business which had its origins from the back of a Ford transit van in the heyday of the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation is closing down.
Kentool Industrial was founded by Ken Goff in 1978 after he moved to Albury four years earlier with industrial engineering supplies business, McPhersons.
Mr Goff branched out on his own when McPhersons closed its Albury office and he continued an association with one of their biggest customers, Battenfeld Manufacturers, who were based in Union Road and had also been attracted to the early 1970s boom times.
“We used to supply a lot of stuff to them and I said to them ‘if I started on my own would you support me?’,” Mr Goff said.
“They said ‘certainly’ and did so from day one.
“They were the impetus for me as I suddenly had a ready-made customer.”
Mr Goff operated his business from the back of a van for five years before moving into 571 David Street in 1983.
He has sold tools for more than half a century after growing up at Cheshunt in the King Valley.
The former Vietnam veteran’s business underwent a name change to Kentool Industrial to reflect changes in the industry including the emergence of the “big box” hardware stores such as Bunnings.
“This has been a difficult decision, but I cannot go on forever,” Mr Goff, who turns 70 soon, said.
He and his wife Karen are business directors.
The longest-serving employee is Rowan Evans, who has only ever worked for Mr Goff.
“I put him on temporarily after he came down from Corryong to play football for Albury,” he said.
“He was just so good we had to keep him on.
“He knows the business inside out.”
Mr Goff plans to close the business at Easter.
His retirement plans include offering some assistance to an operator of the Cumberoona paddlesteamer.
“I am an inaugural board member and I believe this is a valuable asset to Albury,” he said.