“Ahh Saxbys, taste it to believe it”. Recognise this famous catch phrase? Who doesn’t love the best-selling Saxbys classic stone ginger beer trickling down your throat on a hot summer’s day?
Saxbys was first established in 1864 by George Saxby who was born in Kent, England. Mr Saxby was originally a stonemason but started making cordials and soft drinks which were very popular.1 When he first started, he had to fill and cork the ceramic cordial bottles by hand and deliver the product by boat.2
Mr Saxby’s cordial business began in Chatham, but when he saw Taree’s growth he decided to move his business there.3 He built a house and factory in Victoria Street, approximately where ‘Fish, fish, fish’ café is in 2018. In 1913, Saxby joined with G. A. Coleman forming ‘Saxby and Coleman’ and their factory was in Albert Street, opposite the current police station.4 Imagine living next door to one of these factories hearing the clunking of the glass bottles and the loud stamping of the labels.
Mr Saxby was active in the community and served on the local council, before becoming the Mayor of Taree for two terms.5 After he died in 1914, his sons took over the business. The factory was relocated to Buckett’s Way, Purfleet in 1976 and is still being run by the Saxby family. Saxbys claim to be Australia’s oldest family-operated soft drink manufacturers.6 We hope Saxbys soft drinks will be around for another 154 years.
Authors: Bailey Deas Year 6 and Louisa Wilson Year 5, Taree West Public School.
1 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 18 April 1914, 6.
2 Saxbys, http://www.saxbys.com.au/heritage/;Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 24 December 1927.
4 Taree Historic Rate Books 1885-1950, https://midcoaststories.com/taree-rates-books-3/.
5 NSW Government Gazette, 15 February 1889, Issue 104, page 1289.
6 Saxbys, http://www.saxbys.com.au/heritage/; NSW BDM, Death Index, George Saxby, No. 9024/1914.