28 June, 2021
Fifty years servicing the community
From its humble beginnings as a two man operation to a large store servicing customers from across the country, Oakey Electrical and owners, the Langton family, have seen generations of change over the last 50 years but both Andrew and Peter attest that the heart of the local business has remained the same.
Oakey Electrical turned 50 on June 21 with the business experiencing a huge amount of change alongside the community it serviced.
Peter Langton and Leith Baxter opened the business as electrical contractors out of a workshop on Davis Street.
Both Peter and Leith were Toowoomba residents who took the gamble to move their families to Oakey.
“When we initially came out to Oakey we were only electrical contractors doing wiring jobs,” Peter said.
“Leith and I both worked for the supply authority and then made the decision to go into business for ourselves out here.
“Andrew’s Mum (Mary) was pregnant with him at the time.
“We sold up a brand new house at Toowoomba and came out to Oakey and rented an old dump of a house.”
Peter said the business took over a premises from a fruit shop on Campbell Street, the current site of the The Oakey Pharmacy.
He said they were then approached with the offer to sell appliances in addition to doing electrical work.
From yet another gamble, the basis of Oakey Electrical was born.
The business then vacated the premises and moved to a larger location a few doors down at the current OMGosh site.
“At the same time when we moved, colour TV came on the market, so everybody had to have a colour TV, so that boosted the sales as well,” Peter said.
After the lease ran out at that location, Peter and Leith offered to take over the current location which was vacant after the closure of the Co-op general store.
The business launched a larger store in 1977.
That year also saw Peter and Mary purchase the other half of the business from Leith and become full owners.
“I stayed here until about 2010 when I decided to retire,” Peter said.
“Andrew had been working with us since he left grade 12, so Andrew bought the business off us.”
Peter said he couldn’t be happier with the way the business has progressed since he retired.
“I’m very proud of Andrew with what he has achieved since he has taken it over,” Peter said,
“I feel good about it because he and Nicole have carried on that legacy.”
Not a couple to stand still, Andrew and Nicole have continued progressing Oakey Electrical.
“We’ve grown the store even more,” Andrew said.
“We have gone from just having people come into the store to going online..
“We have diversified the store to the changing times.
“Courtney [Riethmuller] has been amazing setting our online business up
“We are now sending stock to Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, Tasmania from online sales.
“Even though we are based in a small country town we can service all over Australia.”
Don’t forget to pop in and wish the Oakey Electrical team a Happy 50th Birthday.