Ted and John Junior served with the Australian Army from 1941 to 1945. While John was sent to fight in New Guinea, Ted stayed in Brisbane, serving as an Army provedore. Jack established a family partnership in 1946 when Ted and John formally joined the business, and the company was renamed J E Tipper and Sons. The company grew, acquiring two more sections in the Roma Street Markets during the 1950s.
Ernie Wood joined the company in 1950 at the age of 13. What began as a summer job soon became a career spanning 46 years. In his early years at the Roma Street Markets, Ernie remembers market workers erecting a net across the road and playing shuttlecock at lunchtime.
J E Tipper and Sons was a founding wholesaler at Brisbane’s new Fruit and Vegetable Central Market established at Rocklea in August 1964. The company originally had two selling floors in the Rocklea Markets but quickly expanded, buying another three sections, as well as a warehouse and cool rooms.
The Markets were badly affected by floods in 1974 and 2011. During the 1974 flood, produce was sold on higher ground at Curzon Street, Rocklea for a week while the Army cleaned up the site.
J E (John Edward) Tipper, known as Jack, started his business with a corner shop.
Trading moved to higher ground during Brisbane’s disastrous 1974 floods.
After graduating from university, Ernie’s son David Wood joined the company in 1983 and established the tropical fruit business that has become the company’s speciality. When Ernie retired in 1996, David Wood, David Davies and two other partners purchased the company and David Davies became Chief Executive Officer, retiring in 2015.
J E Tipper expanded into the Sydney Produce Market in 2001, upscaling its facilities there in 2008 and adding a banana section in 2013.
Although today’s modern, diverse company is almost unrecognisable from Jack Tipper’s fledgling enterprise in the 1940s, its principles of professional marketing and personal integrity, coupled with leading edge logistics management, remain at its heart as it faces the challenges of a vibrant future.