Ten years ago two great mates decided to open up a power equipment store.
Now, they run the hugely successful Valley Power Equipment at 1 Para Road in Tanunda, and employ two full time staff members.
Ben McNamara and Daniel Riebke both previously worked at another business, but that company ended up shutting their doors.
The pair had spoken loosely about starting a business, and saw this as an opportunity to jump on it and start something of their own.
“Daniel and I started 10 years ago in the same complex off Para Road, but in a smaller store in the middle,” said Ben.
“I think we outgrew that shop in about 18 months. But then this premises came up and we took advantage of it. Having a common landlord, we swapped with another tenant.”
Around five years ago the pair expanded the shop to what it currently is now, adding a large functional workshop adjacent to their showroom.
Although it has snuck up on them quickly, celebrating 10 years in business is a great achievement according to these two mates.
“It has flown by. I think the thing is we’ve been so busy and it’s only getting busier, so the months and even years go by,” said Ben.
“You start the year and then it’s Christmas, and our busy seasons like winter and spring makes time just fly by.”
Daniel added, “It’s exciting though. I guess it’s hard to imagine when you first start out that you’re going to be in business for that long, but it’s been great.”
Valley Power Equipment stock, service and repair a huge range of outdoor power equipment.
That covers everything from lawn mowers, brushcutters, chainsaws, trimmers, ride on mowers, pressure washers and blowers.
They also help out builders with quick cut saws, concrete mixers and generators.
Grateful for the community’s support
Husqvarna, Honda and Bushranger have been their three major suppliers since they started 10 years ago.
They’ve also acquired a few smaller ones that fill the gap with certain products those businesses can’t supply.
“Our show room is a bit tight, but we try to give as much of an offering as we can. With the three main brands we stock that pretty much covers all your outdoor power equipment wants and needs.”
Both Ben and Daniel believe they are one of only a few auto mower, or robotic mower, dealers in the state.
They said it’s a huge market and growing rapidly, as well as the growth from battery powered equipment that started around five years ago.
And looking forward, things are going to continue expanding, especially with brands like Husqvarna being a huge company.
“One of the biggest things for us is having that support from Husqvarna. We’ve become what they call a ‘crown dealer’ with them. I think there’s only two or three others in the state on this top tier so we’re pretty lucky,” said Ben.
“This enables us, and our customers, to become closer to the supplier and help each other out a bit more. That’s an achievement for us.”
As well as the shop continually expanding, the workshop has grown over the past few years.
They’ve installed hoists and separate work bays, just to make things as efficient as possible.
With the showroom and workshop getting very busy during certain times of the year, the pair have a huge focus on efficiency and getting the job done together.
“But this can sometimes be a challenge because every job that comes through the door is different. Other than chain sharpening there’s not a real lot of routine stuff,” said Ben.
But it’s these ‘out of routine’ jobs that keep the guys enjoying each day they go into work, with a highlight being meeting new people in the community and helping them out.
Ben can still recall the moment their first customer came in and how it felt being able to provide good old fashioned customer service.
Now, that customer is still a regular.
They also have a lot of schools, clubs and Councils, as well as caravan parks, vignerons and broadacre farmers that support them.
“We wouldn’t be where we are now if people didn’t support us. So we are so thankful that people have given us a shot,” said
“On the surface it looks real simple, but we are a specialised industry. So I think people just want someone they can trust and rely on to keep a good service and range of parts.
“Some people look at it as a disadvantage in a small community… but the flip side of that is people are extremely loyal if you do the right thing.”