The Story behind Eastside Refrigeration

On October 7, 1974, Eastside Refrigeration Limited was founded by two couples: John and Lynne McKeown and Paul and Barbara Edlington.

They began operating from a small workshop in Lovegrove Lane off Grey Street in Hamilton East. With no showroom or office, John and Paul, who were ‘on the tools’, worked out of a pair of Austin A55 vans.

As the company grew, Paul moved into a sales role and John managed the service department. Lynne and Barbara joined up to organise the office.

Growth was steady through the early 80s and a showroom with offices attached was built with a road frontage on to Grey Street.

Fisher & Paykel appliances and Carrier Air Conditioning products were the focus of the sales team in those early days. And a growing service department was on hand to back up all that was sold.

In 1987, Richard Johnston joined the Eastside team as a tradesman refrigeration engineer. He had a brief spell away but returned, keen to become a director. Richard managed the sales team from 1992 and, over several years, bought out the other directors.

In January 2004, Don Hollingsworth joined the sales management team. And later that year also became a director of the company. The original directors retired.

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Don, a qualified design/building services engineer added another valuable skill set to the company, enabling it to undertake larger commercial projects.

Early in 2007, the Maui Street site at Te Rapa was chosen for its size and proximity to all services. Noel Jessop Architecture was chosen to design the new premises and Downey Construction began building operations in August 2007. With almost 1250sqm of workshop and storage and 500sqm of office/showroom space and modern facilities for staff, the new premises was expected to enable the company to meet forecasted growth.

On Monday, March 10, 2008, after 34 years in Hamilton East, Eastside Refrigeration Limited began operating from its new purpose-built site at 139 Maui Street, Te Rapa. The company employed 33 staff, many of whom had been trained in house.

In April 2019, Feisst Group bought Eastside Refrigeration, adding the HVACR business to their group of companies encompassing Feisst Electrical, Select Alarms and Structured Technologies.

The purchase enabled Feisst to create a ‘total offering’ for commercial customers, including security, automation, data, audiovisual, electrical, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration.

For 50+ years, Eastside Refrigeration has been 100% locally owned and operated, and still is. Today, there is a team of approximately 60 in place and the business operates out of Feisst Group headquarters at 29 Gilchrist Street, Avalon, working side by side with other Feisst Group brands.

A Look Back In Photos

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