Celebrating 60 Years of Cowaramup Agencies

Celebrating 60 Years of Cowaramup Agencies: A Journey of Heritage, Service and Growth

Every great story has its origins and as we celebrate 60 magnificent years, we’d love to share ours with you. The story of Cowaramup Agencies begins with two prominent Cowaramup families dating back to the 1930s—the Earls and the Duggans. Before the iconic Friesian cows arrived on our townscape, Roy Earl was a livestock agent for the region. Soon his son, Neville Earl was making his mark, running the local butcher shop from the Cowaramup Cafe site in the 1950s.

In 1964, Neville joined forces with Tom Duggan, to form a farm supply outlet based out of the current Moonhaven site. By 1972, Cowaramup Agencies relocated to its current site, with Roy manning the shop while Neville and Tom focused on their roles as stock agents. The late ’70s saw the arrival of new recruits: Neville’s son Neil Earl and Tom’s nephew Rod Duggan.

Under Neil and Rod’s leadership, Cowaramup Agencies evolved into the region’s leading supplier of agricultural products. Our journey has mirrored the ebb and flow of the dairy and beef industries, the unprecedented rise of viticulture, and the real estate boom from the ’70s through the ’90s. Today, our offerings have expanded to include pumps, irrigation systems, and essential house and garden supplies. In 2019, Neil and Deborah Earl became the outright owners, cementing our legacy of independence and community-focused service provided by a family-led business.

A Walk Through the Decades

1960s: Humble Beginnings

Earl Bros Family Butchers traded from the site where the Cowaramup Cafe operates. The old Earl property, where the iconic ‘Groupie’ house stood for 80 years before its removal in 2018, had yards ready to receive cattle prior to slaughter. Neville and Tom later launched their stock agent business from the now Moonhaven site. 

1970s: Establishment and Growth

In 1972, Cowaramup Agencies moved to 63 Bussell Highway, its current site. Neil and Rod took the reins from Neville and Tom in the late ’70s, focusing mainly on the livestock agency business. From 1977 to 2002, we partnered with Wesfarmers, regaining our independence in 2002.

1980s: Viticulture Boom

The mid-80s saw a skyrocketing demand for viticulture supplies, prompting Neil to focus on merchandise while Rod continued the livestock business.

1990s: Viticulture Takes Centre Stage

Viticulture became our core focus in the ’90s, with Neil recalling the extensive effort to source posts from all over Australia. Our commitment to serving the growing needs of the region remained steadfast.

2000s: Diversification and Expansion

The early 2000s brought continued growth and diversification. We ventured into real estate with Down South Realty and became a shareholder in the National Rural Independent (NRI) buying group. Our presence expanded to Bunbury in 2007 to service dairy customers. The ongoing challenges facing the industry led to our exit from the Bunbury business in 2012.

2010s: New Horizons

In 2015, we launched our Pumps and Irrigation division, offering comprehensive irrigation solutions to horticulture and viticulture customers.

2020s: Broadening Our Reach

The 2020s marked further expansion as we began servicing station properties in the Kimberley Pilbara region. The decade also saw major residential development in the region and a surge in demand for household and backyard products, including Kleenheat Gas and pet and garden supplies.

The Spirit of Cowaramup Agencies

As we celebrate this 60-year milestone, the Earl family’s dedication to service and community remains at the heart of Cowaramup Agencies. Our journey from a butcher shop to premier agriculture and household essentials supplier is a testament to our resilience, adaptability, and commitment to the people we serve. 

Now four generations of Earls have led Cowaramup Agencies, and countless employees have worked and played here throughout the years.

In turning 60, we especially want to celebrate our our customers an the people of the region who have helped our growth.

JUNE 2024