Gourlay's Confectionery Shop

Launceston at the time Gourlay's was founded (AOT, PH30/1/108)

Gourlay's Confectionery Shop, including a factory, shop and residence, was established in Elizabeth Street, Launceston in 1896 by William Gourlay. Sweets manufactured by the Gourlays included Jockey Caps, unique to the firm, and still made today from the original recipe. Other lollies still made in the old-fashioned way are Toffee Bars, which are broken up with hammers, Acid Drops, Peach Bon-bons and Milkshake Syrups.

Gourlay's prospered, and a second shop was opened opposite the Majestic Theatre, the scene of hectic rush periods in intervals when patrons hastened to buy sweets. The slogan 'Gourlays' Famous Sweets' became widely known throughout Tasmania, and the firm opened a shop in Hobart. The business remained in the Gourlay family until 1970 when the Woods family bought the shop, and in 1978 they also purchased the factory. This now operates on a new site near the Penny Royal complex, and the shop, Gourlay's Sweet Shop, moved in 1980 to the Quadrant.

Further reading: W Gourlay, Rewards of the years, Launceston, 1987; Tamar Times, 3 July 2003.

Alison Alexander