Jenkins Rubber Shop has been in business in Cairns since 1948, having only three local owners in over seventy years of business. This continuity of long term ownership and long serving staff ensures customers deal with experienced service personnel with a history in the trade supplies of rubber and foam. Rest assured, we'll be here tomorrow to guarantee continued supply.
The late Bill and Kim Jenkins started out as a shoe repair business, expanded into selling rubber and foam which soon became the core activity. For about a decade, they included toys in response to popular demand. It was probably his children's demands as well, as these were the days before shopping centres and big department stores. In the 1970's, it was located in the old Plaza Theatre building on Mulgrave Road and stocked the largest range of toys in Cairns.
Various locations over the early years included three different sites in Aplin Street, and the corner of Grafton and Spence Streets.
For a few years in the early 80's, Bill's son Ken Jenkins and his wife Carmel ran a branch in Atherton.
Judy and the late Steve Nickles owned the business from Bill's retirement in 1983 through to 2005. At that time, the business was located in Aplin Street. On its move in 1986 to Sheridan Street, its focus shifted to trade and industry customers - for example, the local boat builders were thriving, and Jenkins Rubber helped to supply many of the builders with the rubber they needed. The Fremantle Class Australian Navy Patrol Boats were built at the local NQEA shipyards, and contracts such as this ushered in immense growth in local marine and general engineering industries. These demands saw further growth and in 1995 the business moved to its current large premises in Aumuller Street.
Jenkins Rubber Shop supplied products for those early patrol boats and continues to supply for local Navy refit, vessel construction and maintenance for the reef fleet, the fishing fleet, and visiting luxury yachts. Current owners, Andrew and Tracey Barnes have overseen recent growth and expanded into a large warehouse behind their premises as bulk orders of foam, matting, and rubber products increase. Semi-retired past owner Judy still remains with the company maintaining and sharing her 25 plus years of knowledge.
Jenkins Rubber Shop has been owned and staffed by a succession of locals of long standing. This ensures knowledge and experience is available, together with good old-fashioned friendly service.