Our Story

Thursday 16 January 2020

The Atkins Story

Since 1878 John Atkins & Co have been supporting, working with and delivering to Irish Farmers. Through the generations the same top-quality standards have been maintained.


When John (Atkins) met Joseph (Wolfe) to form an agricultural merchants at 49 South Mall, Cork.


2nd outlet opened at 5 Patrick's Quay. Company now north & south of the river!


McKenzies, a competitor on nearby Camden Quay, acquired. Atkins and McKenzies kept as separate entities offering different products and serving different customers.


Legal entity, John Atkins & Co. Ltd., founded. Registration no. 2827, now one of Ireland's oldest surviving companies.Company 50% owned by both John and Joseph.


Rapid growth required another outlet. 54 South Mall, Cork opened


WWI, War of Independence, Civil war. Period of retrenchment. John & Joseph, being of the Protestant faith, must have thought about getting out but didn't and passed the business on to the second generation.


Expansion again. Southern Seed Company acquired, outlet opened in Dingle (Co. Kerry).


"Economic War", WWII: a grim period in Irish life and farming. Any company does well to come through it.


And we're off again. Into the 3rd generation now. Outlet opened in Clonakilty. New fertiliser subsidiary, CFD, complete with drying plant, built at Monahan Rd., Cork. Staff partake in funding the new company.


South Mall outlets closed, Winthrop Street "home and garden store" with its cutting edge "self selection" format opened.


Relocation of the farm machinery business from Patricks Quay in Cork City to Carrigrohane Road on the outskirts of the city. Commencement of importation of several lines of machinery from Europe, including Bredal & Bogballe, still successful today.


Ireland joins EEC, farming flourishes, machinery in demand. Addition of branches at Bandon, Fermoy, Midleton to consolidate the territory of Cork for the farm machinery division. McKenzies (garden machinery) and Gardenworld also thrive on urbanisation or Ireland.


Peter Wolfe (4th generation) buys out Atkins family shareholders


Gardenworld rebuilt after a flood the previous year