• Our Story

Our Story

Arriving in Australia like many other displaced migrants from the chaos of Europe during WW2 and facing the limited appeal of the customary Australian diet of the time, F Mayer Imports was established by Fred Mayer in 1957. Fred’s knack for business and entrepreneurial tendencies were evident at an early age. Whilst living in Palestine (and only 15 years of age) Fred became the self-appointed manager to eight Austrian and German hot dog vendors. He would deliver by foot all their supplies (meat, bread and condiments) and even developed a rotating roster of which locations they could sell from. It became so successful it led to a job at a local small goods company.

F Mayer Imports had humble beginnings, initially importing Norwegian jumpers and ski wear. Heavy import restrictions at the time limited food imports to just Swiss wafers and Danish and Swiss cheeses. When these import restrictions were lifted, Fred was able to increase the range of imported food products to satisfy the growing post-war demand in Australia for European food delicacies and specialty goods.

In an extract from a past interview, Fred recalls “When we first arrived in 1950, Australian food was a real oddity. You would go to a restaurant, it would look great, clean and tables with white tablecloths but all that was on the menu would be meat pies and sausage rolls”. But this all began to change during the 1950s and there was a strong fledgling market for continental foods by 1957 when Fred established the business.   

Like many success stories, Fred started F Mayer Imports from his garage at his home in Bondi, where the imports were initially housed. Then, when he started importing cheeses and more perishable goods, he rented cool rooms in Ultimo. Over time, Fred (later accompanied by his sons) built the business up and relocated to larger warehouses in Rosebery, followed by Alexandria and then Mascot. Today, Mayers spans over two large warehouses in Banksmeadow, Sydney and Altona North in Melbourne.


Mayers Timeline Graphic showing company milestones throughout the years
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