As a business we've had our ups and downs, that's for sure, there's been some tough times. The testament is we're still here after 25 years.Kylie Stoeckel
In 1994, Albury's Graham Searle started a building business in his garage.
This year Southern Vale Homes celebrates its 25th anniversary, with a function planned for Friday, September 13, so the company can show its appreciation to the staff and subcontractors who have contributed to its success.
"Some of our trades and suppliers have been with us since the start," director Kylie Stoeckel said.
"We're very lucky that way.
"We're really just having a dinner and a thank-you to those that help us build some great houses."
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For more than two decades, Mr Searle, now retired, was the face of Southern Vale Homes but Mrs Stoeckel, his daughter, has also been a longstanding presence.
"Ah, 24.8 years," she said.
Working in Melbourne at the time, Mrs Stoeckel received a call from her father, asking her to join him in his new venture.
"I said, 'I can't work for you, Dad, I'll come and help you for a couple of months'," she said wryly.
"He has been a great boss.
"As a business we've had our ups and downs, that's for sure, there's been some tough times.
"The testament is we're still here after 25 years."
Since starting in the Searle garage, Southern Vale Homes was also located in Albury's Nurigong Street before building its Wodonga base in Moorefield Park Drive about 14 years ago.
General manager John Fisher said the company covered all facets of home building.
"Every year it's different, there's a push towards more technology in the homes, the different facade features, it's not your standard brick veneer home, people are looking at alternative products now," he said.
"Also generational builds, because we've been around so long, they grew up in Mum and Dad's house and want to build a Southern Vale house."
"I think we've currently got three or four people at the moment that are on their second or third Southern Vale homes themselves," Mrs Stoeckel added.
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Mr Fisher joined the builder three years ago and has helped it settle on a steady base of completing about 80 houses a year.
"One of the reasons I work here is that I built a house with Southern Vale, it was a really awesome experience for me," he said.
"I wanted to be a part of what they were producing to me and hoped that I could be part of what the business produces to other consumers so they get the same experience I had."