Legislative Council: Wednesday, October 18, 2023


Matters of Interest

Galipo Foods

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (15:26): It is my great privilege to rise today to convey my heartfelt congratulations to Galipo Foods, a proud and award-winning South Australian family-owned business. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Galipo Foods, and it was a great honour to be invited to the gala celebration on Wednesday 11 October 2023 at the beautiful Sunnybrae Estate function centre.

Many distinguished guests, including the Hon. Hieu Van Le, former governor, along with many wonderful Italian and multicultural community leaders and prominent business leaders from the food service and hospitality industry across South Australia and Australia were there, of course with the whole Galipo team, united as one big family to mark the momentous occasion celebrating four decades of the outstanding success of Galipo Foods.

It was great to see so many of my Liberal colleagues there as well, including former Premier, the Hon. Steven Marshall, the Hon. John Gardner and also the Hon. Vincent Tarzia, all of whom are great supporters and have a long-term association and friendship with the Galipo family.

When we come across a successful company, we often underestimate the sheer hard work by business owners, their determination to overcome many challenges through taking risks and making personal sacrifices in order to transform themselves and their company, so that they can stand out from the rest and become the best they can be.

Galipo is both a successful Italian migrant's story and an award-winning business story. A special book called From no-hoper to no.1 details the humble beginning of Galipo, where 40 years ago Sebastian Galipo, with a burning desire to prove he was better than a no-hoper, decided to make a go of a simple idea, started with a modest $5,000 loan and became a one-stop shop food distribution company.

The Galipo Foods company started out of the garage of Sebastian Galipo's home and commenced its operation with just four domestic refrigerators and freezers all the way back in 1983. For those who have the pleasure of knowing Sebastian Galipo, he is a passionate leader with big dreams and big ambitions. He knew from the very beginning that the business he created must always be innovative and 100 per cent customer orientated—as Sebastian says in his own words, 'a win-win for ourselves and our customers.'

Back in 1983, Galipo Foods was one of the 14 South Australian owned broad range food wholesale distributors. Today, there are only four remaining from the original group, and Galipo Foods is the only one remaining that is still South Australian owned.

In order to stay competitive and grow the business to accommodate more customers, more suppliers and more staff, Galipo Foods has had five relocations, including moving to a larger premises in Stepney in 1988, which coincided with Sebastian's brother, Bill, leaving behind his career as a teacher to become a partner in the company. The dynamic Galipo brothers, along with their professional team at Galipo Foods, would later establish a distribution centre at Dry Creek in 2003. Two other acquisitions expanded to serve customers in regional South Australia.

Though Galipo Foods has rapidly expanded over its 40 years and services some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Domino's Pizza, Subway, KFC and Barnacle Bill, at the same time they also maintain a focus on smaller and local businesses. Their customers include cafes, restaurants, hotels, caterers, aged care, school canteens, sports clubs, fish and chip shops, pizza bars and many more.

Their commitment to high-quality service has seen Galipo Foods become one of the most highly decorated food service distributors in South Australia. The company has won the South Australia's Best Distributor Award presented by Foodservice Suppliers Association Australia for 10 years in a row from 2014 to 2023. Furthermore, across the country Galipo has been voted the number one food service distributor in Australia five times by Foodservice Suppliers Association Australia at their national Awards for Excellence.

Today, it has a strong brand and employs 233 staff to supply more than 4,000 businesses across South Australia, using 60 trucks. Congratulations Galipo Foods and thank you for the significant contributions you make to support our economy, our local jobs and our community.