G. Gay & Co was established in 1918 by Godfrey Gay, who originally sold new and second hand building materials, timber and mining supplies. Godfrey was a mining engineer until he took a major change in his career path and started a timber yard in Armstrong Street, Ballarat.
He started off by purchasing old houses and demolished them to sell the second hand building materials. The company later incorporated new materials and phased out the second hand products. The business continued to trade and expand at the Armstrong Street site under the management of Edwin Gay, Godfrey’s son.
Edwin took over in the Depression days, around 1932. He was a fitter and turner for a local foundry for years before taking on the family business at the age of 35. His son Jim, spent six years at the same foundry as his father before joining the business in 1956, at the age of 22.
In 1977 he relocated the business to Howitt Street, Wendouree.
Wendouree was a much larger and more accessible premises, which enabled the expansion of the hardware part of the business and also provided undercover service in the timber yard. The store now has over 5,000 square metres of undercover showroom and sheds, on a 4 acre site.
It is now a fourth generation family business with two of Jim’s sons, David and Ross now managing the stores.
In 1990, G. Gay & Co expanded, setting up a second store in Gillies Street, Ballarat. This store sells the same range of timber, hardware and building supplies and caters for both Trade and DIY customers.
More recently in 2002, Ballarat Building Suppliers in Main Road, Ballarat, a long established Timber and Hardware business, was also acquired by G. Gay & Co. Over the 3 sites, the firm now employs in excess of 100 staff.
In June 2014, G. Gay & Co entered into a joint venture with Mitre 10 Australia. As a result of this partnership, David and Ross initiated a store refurbishment program, the most significant of these upgrades saw the Ballarat Building Supplies business relocating to Sebastopol and the creation of Mitre 10’s first “Sapphire Standard” store.
G. Gay & Co take pride in being a local family business and aim to provide friendly, prompt and expert advice to their customers. While a large part of the business is trade orientated, supplying to domestic and commercial builders, G. Gay & Co also offer specialist advice to meet the demands of the “do it yourself” and “owner builder” markets, with staff experienced in the building industry.