Gas business in safe hands
AFTER 20 years, Horn's Gas Service in Lismore has changed hands.
Long-term owners, Brian and Carol Horn, are ready for retirement and have packed their caravan and are heading for Tasmania.
But they know the business will be in safe hands, with Ian Brown and Hayley Connelly officially taking over last week.
The young couple are committed to the region and also own another business, Absolute Plumbing, which they set up in April.
“I went to school at Alstonville, studied at university in Lismore then did a bit of travelling around Australia,” Ms Connelly said.
“Ian is from Moree and we met at Coffs Harbour. I had always wanted to come back home - this is such a nice area.”
Mr Brown is a qualified plumber and was keen to start his own business.
When the couple saw Horn's Gas Service was up for sale, they jumped at the chance to get involved in a well-respected local business.
“Carol and Brian, the previous owners, have put their heart and soul into the business,” Ms Connelly said.
“So we've spent the past two months learning from them. We don't want to let them down. We're even going to keep the name of the business. We've become very close to Carol and Brian and it's important for us to do their name proud and carry on their good work.
“There was also a lot that Ian needed to learn about gas appliances.”
Mr Brown and Ms Connelly officially took over the business last Tuesday , and said they felt 'really good' about the decision.
“We're the warranty agents for Dometic, which do caravan fridges, Rheem, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel and heaps of other brands,” Ms Connelly said.
“We cover the whole Northern Rivers and travel out to rural areas to fix and service appliances.”
They have just hired a second plumber/gas fitter to help Ian with some of the extra work, and have also employed an apprentice.
“We've been running flat out,” Ms Connelly said.
To help make life a bit easier, Horn's Gas Service has moved to a new location in Snow Street, Lismore.
Ms Connelly said the new premises would allow them to expand the business and 'take control of the demand'.
“That's the only change - everything else is the same,” she said.