The VUETRADE Platinum Partner in August is celebrating 109 years this month – Congratulations E. W. Bulte

E. W. Bulte- VUETRADE Store of the Month
Peter w- E. W Bulte

What does it take to a family business stand strong for over 100 years? What happens behind the scenes to ensure success? How much of effort and experience is needed?

These are questions we will answer on the VUETRADE August Store of the Month. We have a special store that conveniently is celebrating a big birthday month, Congratulations E.W Bulte.

Sit back and enjoy a good read, and make sure you take some notes too, maybe your store will feature the next centenary store.


The history of E.W Bulte started in August 1912, with Ernest William Bulte, a building contractor by trade and focused heavily on supporting the local community of Ararat.  

A family-owned Victorian business that initially started with Ernest as a building and contracting business along with a timber yard, Ernest recognized the need for hardware and building products within the area, which later resulted in the expansion of the hardware offering, serving Ararat and the greater District until today.

Here is your lesson one;

Recognize your business needs and not recede when hard situations present themselves yet be proactive can help not just your business but also open doors for an opportunity that no one has seen before.

The history of the business backdates the first World War, the challenges faced through the times left a consistent mark of persistency and collaboration throughout the generations. A vivid example was during World War I when the building industry was in decline drastically, the family got together and set up a dairy farm while Ernest concentrated on the business.

Here is lesson two;

E. W. Bulte invested in innovation to build something ahead of their time, making a move to a larger outfit and diversifying the product offering. A great business lesson passed down the generations.

Many buildings in the Ararat region marks part of the E. W Legacy, bringing memories of the time that means of transport were limited, so all materials were transported by their iconic red Dodge truck all the way from Melbourne. One, in particular, makes the appearance, The Dominica building, the first two-storey home, a conventional Queen Anne style, with a unified appearance different from the buildings in the area yet blended well with the architecture of the town that still stands today.  

It is with the spirit of family work and belief in the industry, that in 1946 when Ernest passed away that Mark took over the business. This was when the timber yard was relocated to adapt to the needs of more space for stock of supplies as well as introducing fittings and paint to the range.

Here is your lesson number three;

Make it personal and get to know your clients. The family reputation is a big part of the brand, their customers safely say that feels good to see friendly familiar faces.  

Mark worked hard to level up the business, when the building & contracting company ceased in 1964, the yard was the focus of the business until he retired, selling mostly timber and painting products used in the building firm, however, times were evolving and needed to become more adapted to newer trends.

Mark’s only child, Beverly was the next in line to look after the legacy, along with her husband Kingsley. Kingsley left his career to join the family helping Beverly to run the business. Together they modernized the store buy cleaning up the out-of-date stock making more room to new products.

The business was going well for the first few years until a drought in 1980 and a Rural Recession in 1990, bringing challenging times for the industry. At the time, they had to let go of staff leaving Kingsle

E. W. Bulte- VUETRADE Store of the Month family

y and only Peter (Kingsley’s son).

Again, the family perseverance kept them strong, facing a recession that dried up the building and renovating industry. What saved the family business was really the family reputation and relationships with customers – for them it was very personal.

Here is your last lesson;

Being creative and eager to provide quality service is what keeps them competitive in the market.

From the three children of Kingsley and Beverly, Peter was the one that decided to follow the fathers’ steps and get on-board to the move the family business forward. They were all encouraged to get out there and look for other options. In 1985, Peter returned to work along with his father becoming the 4th Generation involved in the timber and hardware supply industry.

In the year 2000 Peter took over completely after 15 years of work with his father, and as we would expect, the family went through some more challenges, but this time was competition.

E. W. Bulte- VUETRADE Store of the Month


E. W. Bulte had to compete with the new-comers – hardware franchises. But the support of his customer base, the experience of the Bulte family legacy passed on to him along with Peter’s new ideas for extension of the space and creation of a showroom were and still is what makes a difference and keeps the business operations today.

What does it take for a family business to stand for over 100 years?

Reading all about what the family has gone through, gives them good reasons to give up, but the family values, knowledge of the industry and loyal customers is what keeps the family tradition alive for over 100 years!

If we are going to see a 5th generation taking over the business, the future is still unsure. But we can say for sure that 109 years is a great milestone and a proud time to celebrate!

How is that for trust, the VUETRADE Timber Connector products being available in a store with such a great history behind just give us more credibility. Thank you, Peter and the E.W. Bulte Family, for the support and for the opportunity to be part of this great legacy.