Early days -looking back 60 years in business - 3rd Dec 2013

Photo of the workshop in Kaikorai Valley Road,  Dunedin taken in approximately 1970  2013 is a milestone for the company - our 60th year in business. A.J. Grant has come a long way since its hopeful beginnings many years ago in a back yard garage. It all began with recycled conduit piping roof racks.

A.J Grant is a family business and it began in a small way in a domestic garage in 1953. Founder Alex Grant began the company, working weekends at home while also working a full time job with another company. Using old conduit pipes taken from inside walls of wooden villas, Alex welded them into roof racks for cars and vans which were in short supply at the time. Wife and young mother Ruth would then wire brush, sandpaper and paint them during the week and sell them via a small newspaper ad.

The popularity of the roof racks encouraged them to branch out a little more and the next successful idea was to use metal pipes to make farm gates. It was about this time that Alex decided to leave his steady job and take on the business full time. The fledgling firm of A.J Grant won the tender to build the railings around the Waikouaiti Race Track in 1955. The much needed capital from this big job enabled the firm to branch out some more making clotheslines along with an increasing amount of wrought iron products which were a great success.

The business had now outgrown its residential base and after a long search A.J. Grant Engineering moved to a small workshop in Kaikorai Valley Road, (see photo taken in approximately 1970). Trampolines and play equipment were now another string to their bow. With their ever expanding business, new premises were built alongside the original workshop in Kaikorai Valley Road in 1995 where the company work from today.

Throughout its history, A.J Grant has remained a strong family focused business, with all the Grant brothers having worked alongside their father at various times. With Son’s Allan and Bruce Grant at the helm, the business has developed and expanded its lines into two facets, namely IRONGEAR which design and produce wrought iron gates, automatic and manual options, fencing and the other being PLAYGEAR™ which manufacture and install playground equipment for schools and councils around New Zealand.

Hard work and the ability to innovate have made A.J Grant the strong business it is today.

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