Making Hardware History in Western Australia
In the last seventy years in Western Australia the name ‘Farinosi' has grown to become synonymous with builder's hardware supplies in Perth and in Karratha the north of W.A. The Farinosi family have provided diverse, quality hardware lines to the building and construction industry since 1969 resulting in a strong customer base which includes many high profile members of the Master Builder's Association (MBA) and the construction Contractors Association (CCA). But this specialisation in builder's hardware has developed from the grass roots supply industry in Western Australia since the 1930's and is the culmination of much hard work and effective organisation.
The founder of Farinosi & Sons was Amedeo Farinosi, originally from Abruzzi in Italy. With his wife, Ersilia and their 3 year old son Tony, Amedeo set sail for Western Australia, arriving here in 1926 with a vision to build a new home for himself and his family. Little did he know that seventy years later the family company, A. Farinosi & Sons would grow to become an employer of 35 staff at their Northbridge and Karratha locations.
Ready to turn his hand to any new challenge, Amedeo tried a variety of occupations up until 1937, which included trapping rabbits and then selling his game door-to-door. Then in 1937 he purchased a truck and established a small sawmill at 163 James Street, Northbridge in Perth. This original link with the Northbridge precinct has become a strong bond with the Farinosi family who have lived and worked in the locality ever since their first residence at 164 James Street, now the site of the Paradiso Cinema.
It was there, opposite the original sawmill that Amadeo and Ersilia raised their family, Tony who had come from Italy with them, a daughter, Angelina and two more sons, Duilio (nicknamed "Snow") and Eric. The sawmill site developed into a substantial produce store with a good reputation in Perth. It was hard business in those early days, demanding long hours of hard physical work with all of the family having to work in the store after school and on weekends. At the age of 14 years, Tony had to leave school to step into his father's shoes carting wheat at Moora in W.A. to allow Amedeo to return to Perth to look after his ailing wife and the other children.
In 1944 a wood yard was established to complement the store at their new premises on the corner of James and Fitzgerald Streets, Northbridge. A further service was added to the business in 1949 with the establishment of a transport service to the Dale area just west of Pingelly and Brookton, W.A. This was a twice weekly supply run to the farmers in those relatively remote areas and resulted in Farinosi & Sons moving into the hardware supply area. This was due to the increasing number of requests from the farmers for a ‘bag of cement and some paint' as well as just about every other hardware item used on a farm. These small beginnings grew into a major hardware supply business with the transport arm providing the delivery of the goods to the country areas.
Amedeo died in 1963 having seen his vision of the successful family business fulfilled, leaving his 3 sons to carry on the Farinosi tradition. His daughter, Angelina had earlier married and had her own family of 2 boys and 2 girls and worked for the business at times. Farinosi & Sons grew and in 1969 reached a major crossroads in the company's redevelopment. At that time they owned many trucks and semi-trailers associated with the transport service which were striking major congestion problems as Northbridge emerged as a lively satellite of Perth city with its own booming work force. The option was to leave Northbridge and re-establish in an outer suburb; the family links were too strong and the brothers elected to sell the transport arm of Farinosi's and concentrate on the hardware supply business.
In that same year gift lines were added to the range of goods and included watches, clocks, crockery, cookware, glassware, crystal, statues, travel goods and toys. This was an astute development which now accounts for approximately 20% of the overall turnover. Again in 1977 Farinosi & Sons expanded with the establishment of a large builder's hardware outlet in Karratha in the far north of the state. With the growth of population and the ensuing demand for hardware the Farinosi & Sons operation has sustained constant growth and is still expanding today. Under the watchful eyes of the three brothers Tony, "Snow" and Eric the business has continued thrive and now the next generation of the Farinosi family has made its mark with the addition of Tony's son, Paul. And so, the proud tradition is renewed with Farinosi & Sons continuing to make hardware history in Western Australia as the building and construction industry moves forward into the 21 st Century.