Spring Valley duo makes their ‘egg-xit’
FROM ambitious Londoners to Torquay farmers, Brian and Jill Pocklington have made a name for themselves as the friendly faces behind Spring Valley Barn Laid Eggs.
But now, after 44 years, the duo is calling it quits on the egg business.
While Torquay Stockfeeds will continue operating at the Grossman Road location, the pair is now welcoming the idea of having more free time while reflecting on their careers.
Brian, then 25, and Jill, 21, took over the Spring Valley egg farm in 1977 after coming to Australia from east London just three years earlier.
“We had no idea how to run a farm,” Mr Pocklington said.
“The business was not what we expected, and it didn’t take long to see we were losing money from the start.”
The first major hurdle took place just seven months into operation.
“We were heading for bankruptcy, my brother who was also my financial partner had just died from cancer at age 45, and Jill was pregnant with our first child,” he said.
“It was fight or flight so we worked hard and convinced our major creditor a feed company could turn it around.
“We must have been convincing because they gave us time to prove it and then gave us support.”
In 1983 the Pocklingtons went on to start Torquay Stockfeeds with just two bags of horse feed, one bag of dry dog food and a case of tin food on a 4×4 metre table.
These days, they are a leading supplier of horse and stock feed for all animals as well as veterinary supplies, accessories, beds and kennels, electric fencing and wire, pine poles and agriculture products.
“It gradually grew to the store we now have, selling a large range of products which has been embraced by the local community and we have really enjoyed serving them,” Mr Pocklinton said.
“We have been heartened by so many of our loyal long-term customers that have been pleased for us to have some pressure taken away and that we would have some time to enjoy life a bit more.”
Despite the end of Spring Valley Laid Eggs, which they dubbed as their ‘egg-xit’, retirement is not completely on the cards with Torquay Stockfeeds to continue with the help of the couple’s children Graham, Hayley and Michael.
“We sincerely thank every customer that we have served over the 44 years, their loyalty and friendship has been the main reason we have stayed for so long,” Mr Pocklington said.
“Rest assured our produce store will continue, grow and get better but the friendly service, great prices and silly jokes will always be a part of it.”