Balcos History

Balcos celebrated100 years in 2014 with the founders of Balcos commencing operations as the first private Cold Storage facility in Australia in 1914. Mr Wicks and Mr Filsell, both of Balhannah formed Balhannah Cold Stores in 1920 and then on the 21st January 1946 formed Balhannah Co-operative Society Limited as the number of growers in the area needing storage expanded.  

Over the years storage facilities were increased and in 1957 a packing shed was built on the site adjacent the storage rooms. In 1962 they diversified with freezer storage added to service other local businesses including Chapman’s and Jacobs Meats. Cheese from Murray bridge was also stored and exported to Japan, and facilities were also used by potato growers for seed in the off season.

The Co-op took responsibility for sourcing merchandise for local growers. Over the years the range and variety of product grew. In more recent times what started as a small hardware store, has turned into a thriving Mitre 10. The store expanded considerable in the late 1900 and through to early the next century. A sand & metal yard with timber and building products was built on the adjoining property south of Pugh Rd.

The Cold Storage facilities have seen many ups and downs as different businesses have moved in and out of the area. The Cold Storage business saw a major change to their business in 2011 after Lion Nathan’s decision to move their cheese manufacturing facilities out of Murray Bridge, relocating to Tasmania. The Co-op’s Cold Stores having provided significant storage facilities for over 50 years.

Apple growers in the local area have also reduced and so the Co-operative worked on plans for the future of the site and the business. On the 1st August 2012 Balhannah Co-operative Society Limited was converted into a company and will now be known as Balcos Pty. Ltd. The owners and directors of the Co-op remain the same under the company.

With the reduced need for storage facilities from local growers and producers, Balcos embarked on a major re-development of the site. Commencing in late 2013 the site has completly changed to become a new retail hub for the town and surrounding areas. .