Well deserved retirement for Stuart and Dale

The Simmons family, Lauren and Andrew with their children Tippi and Farley join Andrew’s parents and soon to be retirees Stuart and Dale in store during their last week in the family business before a well-earned retirement.

Not many small-town business owners can say they have lasted in business for nearly half a century but Yarrawonga’s own Stuart Simmons Motorcycles, Mowers and Marine owners Stuart and Dale Simmons have done just that and are now rewarding themselves with retirement.

On July 1, 1980 Stuart and Dale purchased the 12 Belmore Street site (now the site of Supercheap Auto) and rented before six years later in 1986 building the current shop on Benalla Road.

The business initially started with a Yamaha motorcycle franchise and Mercury Marine outboards, before expanding not only the motorcycle and marine products but also Stihl and Honda MPE agencies, alongside a large range of spare parts and leading brands of mowers and garden equipment.

Over the years Stuart and Dale have had many wonderful employees, both men and women that are still friends of the family to this day.

“We have had, and still have wonderful employees with the office girls who helped to sell the product and many of the young boys we have had work here after school,” Stuart said.

“The success of a business comes down to the customer service and we have always had great staff who have assisted us in keeping the business running for 42 years and counting.”

Now they are just looking forward to slowing down and taking their time to do things they enjoy.

“It will be great to not be working to the clock and just taking our time,” Dale said.

“We will enjoy being able to have lunches for example. For myself I am part of the Family History Group so to be able to attend our monthly lunch and not have to rush back to work will be fantastic.

“We are also looking forward to going for drives and exploring our great area.”

Stuart added “I am looking forward to it. It is going to be emotional but we are ready.”

The business is in great hands with Stuart and Dale’s son Andrew and his wife Lauren, who have worked together in the family business for 10 years, taking part in a succession plan leading up to taking over the business.

Andrew himself started working with his parents when he was 15 and has completed many and varied training courses.

“It will be an adjustment with mum and dad no longer at the business but that has been what the last 10 years have been about, providing great mentoring and teaching Lauren and I everything they know and everything we need to know about the business,” Andrew said.

“They started the business when they were 24 and to see how it has grown and how they have maintained it is just incredible.

“These are big shoes to fill as both mum and dad have always put customers needs first regardless of what time of day it was.

“We have been through many challenges, especially the last two years like every business but Lauren and I are ready for the next challenge and I’m looking forward to working alongside Lauren and continuing to raise our children in Yarrawonga.”

Stuart and Dale have enjoyed their 42 years in business and put their success and enjoyment down to their clientele.

“We will miss the social aspect of our repeat customers popping in even just to say hello,” Stuart and Dale said.

“To our wonderful customers and our community, many are third/fourth generation families, we thank you for your continued support of our family business.”

Stuart and Dale officially retire from the business at close of business this Thursday so make sure to pop in and say goodbye at 105 Benalla Rd, Yarrawonga.