Hughes Newsagency, Tailem Bend
When deli owner, Jeff Hughes saw an opportunity to buy the newsagency next door in 1943 he knew what great customer service was all about – being a friend.
For three generations now, Jeff, Robert and Tony Hughes have successfully grown their business portfolio, which includes Hughes Newsagency, Rob Hughes Agencies, a grain supply company, a gas bottle refill service and a number of rental properties.
While Rob Hughes is semi-retired he continues to supply a gas bottle refill service to local homes while his son, Tony manages the businesses as well as a few rental properties in Tailem Bend.
‘Buying property in Tailem Bend or renting use to be very cheap when my family began investing in the town,’ says Tony.
‘These days there is much more demand in Tailem Bend because of The Bend Motorsport Park being built that property values have increased significantly.
‘I’ve seen a lot of changes in 20 years of operating the family businesses, and we’re going to see a lot more, but to be successful here you’ve got to be honest and friendly with your customers.
‘In 1943 my grandfather, Jeff took the time to listen to his customers and help them and we wouldn’t be where we are today if the family did not continue providing excellent customer service.’
Providing more than newspapers, magazines and stationary, Hughes Newsagency is constantly evolving to meet the needs of its customers.
Rob Hughes, a former police officer, took on the family business in 1977. He and his wife, Kay refitted the shop in 1984.
The newsagency was transformed extending the building to include a space for video hire.
Tony Hughes returned to Tailem Bend at age 26 after working as a school teacher to join the family business.
‘I love living and working in Tailem Bend,’ says Tony.
‘I remember being taught to drive while delivering the morning newspapers.
‘We use to cover around 1000kms weekly, travelling to Monteith, Swanport, Woods Point, Jervois and Wellington.
‘But I also love just how close the town is to everything. An hour to the city, an hour to the beach and it is right by the river,’ says Tony.
A competitive water skier, Tony has won accolades for his talent, his family home sits on the banks of the River Murray and each night Tony and his wife Andrea along with their two children enjoy majestic river sunsets, and all of this is possible because the Hughes family has a long history of serving their customers as they would a friend.