For over 80 years and 5 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; and who knew that nut stall would still be going strong with 11 retail stores and a warehouse factory over 80 years later?!
The little nut stall continued on favourably over the next 2 decades but when Herb’s health started to deteriorate, he turned to his son, Chappy, who was enjoying a successful career in the navy after serving in the Pacific Theatre during World War 2. Chappy always felt his true calling was the navy, but his admiration for his father won in the end and he reluctantly left the navy to return home and manage the family business at his father’s request.
Chappy Charlesworth Introduces Freshly Roasted Nuts
Over the next 20 years, Chappy introduced several elements into the business that have become part of Charlesworth Nuts’ core principles. One of those was introducing the concept of cooking nuts fresh on site, we were the first in Australia to do so and you can still walk into any of our stores and receive freshly cooked hot nuts even today.
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 I while acting as a mentor and teacher, but without interfering; he allowed us to make mistakes and to learn firsthand 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 3rd generation (my brother Mark and I), took Charlesworth Nuts to a whole new level. We opened the company’s first new store in 40 years in the then relatively new 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 ‘80’s, we opened 4 new stores at Colonnades Shopping Arcade, City Cross Arcade, Tea Tree Plaza and Elizabeth Shopping Centre.
We created our glazing and chocolating 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 gone on to become our most popular products.
It didn’t stop there, in 1987 we began selling our nuts and chocolates at the Royal Adelaide Show for the first time. Our “Adults Only” Showbag (a Showbag we designed to contain “no gimmicks,” just our delicious Charlesworth treats at a value price) was a new and innovative addition to the Show at a time when Showbags were solely marketed towards children.
Inducted Into SA’s Family Business Hall of Fame
We kept growing well into the ‘90’s. We opened 2 new stores in the Myer Centre and West Lakes Shopping Mall.
As I said before, it was the strong foundation Herb and Chappy laid that allowed my brother and I to grow the business so much and in 2004, on our 70th anniversary as a company, 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 more proud.
Charlesworth Nuts Today
Since 2004, we’ve opened a store in Burnside Village and in November 2013 we opened at No.1 Rundle Mall in the old Darrel Lea site, one of the busiest thoroughfares and most prestigious locations in South Australia – I bet Herb & 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 3 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 about the business.
We’ve also been blessed with a 5th generation – little Jayde Ava Charlesworth, the daughter (and first girl to be born in the Charlesworth lineage in 90 years!) of my son, Kain and his wife, Kat. Since then, we’ve been blessed twice more! In 2016, Kain and Kat gave birth to their second daughter, Ariya May Charlesworth. Then in February of 2017, my eldest son, Rhys and his wife, Trish, gave birth to their daughter, little Eloise Abigail Charlesworth.
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 and we have 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; as it has been for 80 years and hopefully for many more years to come.
– Brett Charlesworth – 3rd Generation