The Sypkes family arrived in Tasmania in 1951, Engel Sypkes, his wife Ann and three children migrating from Holland amid new threats of war in Europe. The family operated a general store in Stanley, then a trip to the United States of America exposed Sypkes to 'Modern Merchandising Methods'. He opened his first Purity supermarket in 1958 in Hobart, and when he sold to Woolworths in 1981, his supermarket chain encompassed sixteen stores throughout southern Tasmania.
Two of his sons, Peter and Rudie, started the discount retailing concept 'Chickenfeed Bargain Stores' in 1990. This expanded to 25 stores, providing quality merchandise at lower prices than previously available, and creating a consumer-focused, price-competitive retail environment. The family was also interested in property development and farming, and maintained a strong sense of community.