Charlesworth Nuts Company History

For over eighty years and five generations, we’ve been making and selling the best and freshest nuts, fruits and chocolates in Australia. It all started in March of 1934 with somewhat humble beginnings. Herb Charlesworth bought a small nut stall in the Adelaide Central Market, just so his wife Doris would have something to do. And that was that! Who would have dreamed that nut stall could evolve into 11 retail stores and a warehouse factory over 80 years later?!

The receipt Herb received when he bought the Market stall on March 26th 1934

The receipt Herb received when he bought the Market stall on March 26th 1934… We still have it.

Our little Central Market stall continued favourably over the next two decades. It was after Herb’s health started to deteriorate that he turned to his son, Chappy, who was enjoying a successful career in the Navy (after serving in the Pacific Theatre during World War II). Chappy always felt his true calling was the Navy, but he reluctantly returned home to manage the family business at his father’s request.


Chappy Charlesworth Introduces Freshly Roasted Nuts

Over the next twenty years, Chappy introduced several elements into the business that have become part of Charlesworth Nuts’ core principles. One of those was the concept of cooking nuts fresh on site. We were the first company in Australia to do so and you can still walk into any of our stores and receive freshly cooked hot nuts.

Chappy with his navy buddies

Chappy (circled) with his navy buddies.
Chappy at the Markets

Whenever Chappy did anything, he did it with all his effort. He laid a solid foundation within the business before passing it on to his sons, Brett (that’s me) and Mark. Chappy stepped back from his role as Director, allowing autonomous control of the business for Mark and me. He acted as our mentor and teacher, but without interfering; he allowed us to make mistakes and learn first-hand what it takes to run a successful business.

Chocolates, Glazing, Gift Baskets, The Royal Show and More!

With the strong foundation laid by Herb and Chappy, the third generation (me (Brett) and Mark) took Charlesworth Nuts to a whole new level. We opened the company’s first new store in forty years at Westfield Marion Shopping Centre. Production was moved from out of our family’s Glengowrie home to a warehouse factory in Marion. Throughout the 1970’s and ‘80s, we opened four new stores at Colonnades Shopping Arcade, City Cross Arcade, Tea Tree Plaza and Elizabeth Shopping Centre. We created our glazing and chocolate departments and gave our nuts all new, never-before-seen makeovers. During this time, we also started producing our range of gift hampers and baskets, which have since become our most popular products.

Chocolates, Glazing and Gift Baskets - Since 1934

The early days of gift packing…oh how far we have come. In the beginning, we would only make around 1,500 gifts per year. Today, we make more than 170,000.

Inducted Into SA’s Family Business Hall of Fame

We kept growing well into the ‘90’s, opening two new stores in the Myer Centre and West Lakes Shopping Mall. It was the strong foundation laid by Herb and Chappy that allowed me and Mark to grow the business so successfully. In 2004, on 70th anniversary, Charlesworth Nuts was inducted into South Australia’s Family Business Hall of Fame – this made us an official South Australian icon and we couldn’t be prouder.


Charlesworth Nuts Today

Since 2004, we’ve opened a store in Burnside Village and in November 2013, we opened a store at No. 1 Rundle Mall (at the old Darrel Lea site). This is one of the busiest and most prestigious locations in South Australia – I bet Herb and Doris never pictured it coming this far, but here we are. More recently, we opened our first ever rural store in Mount Barker, SA. We are ecstatic to have expanded into the Adelaide Hills and the community has certainly welcomed us with open arms.

 

Today, my three sons, Rhys, Kain and Liam (the 4th generation) are working in different areas throughout the company, always striving to expand their roles and learn as much as possible.

Little Jayde Charlesworth with her great-great grandparents, Herb and Doris Charlesworth

Little Jayde Charlesworth with her great-great grandparents, Herb and Doris.

 

After 80 years there are a lot of stories to tell, unfortunately too many to tell you about here. Even my little-abridged version was hard to keep short, but I hope I’ve managed to convey just why we love this company and what we do so much. With such a long and fruitful history, how could we not?

 

I also hope that once you try our magnificent nuts, fruits and chocolates and see some of our stunning gifts, you’ll fall in love with our company too!


Strong Family Values

We’re a family business, with the strong values you’d expect from a family. We share those values with our staff – they’re entrenched into our training and culture – and we impart those values to our customers every time they walk into one of our stores. This is how we’re operated for 80 years and hopefully many more to come.

 

— Brett Charlesworth, 3rd Generation

5 Generations of Charlesworths

Celebrating 4 generations together – From left to right: Joy Charlesworth (2nd eneration, Chappy’s wife), Brett Charlesworth (3rd generation, Chappy’s son), Kain Charlesworth (4th generation, Brett’s son) holding his daughter, young Jayde Charlesworth (5th generation).