Hotel News | People of the Rialto | David Lavery


“David Lavery & Son’s Cheese Factory”

David Lavery  “The Cheese Factory”

In 1961, David Lavery started a family business making cheese which he named, David Lavery & Son and rented a cheese storage area in Doyle’s Free Store located in the Rialto building off the now well known Flinders Lane.

To get to David’s cheese factory in the Rialto, buyers could walk straight through from Flinders Lane or choose to take the stairs or lifts from Collins Street. The lift was located on the north west corner of Rialto Lane and was operated by a friendly lift attendant , an ex-serviceman who had lost his  arm during the war. David’s store was housed in the cobblestoned Rialto Lane which extended all the way down to Flinders Lane. When you looked up, buyers would see balconies full of residents, offices and other food dealers, when you looked down you would see a bustling lane full of energy resembling a tradditional Sunday market.

The busy lane was a warren of dairy dealers, traders and egg merchants. While often competing, there was much camaraderie and anyone with a problem would be helped out. In the afternoon, all the dealers would gather in the Kerry Family Hotel on the south west corner of King Street and Flinders Lane and the counter lunch was the regular order of the day, usually served with a side of business chatter, however on more formal occasions dealers  would often be seen at the Federal Hotel on the corner of King and Collins Streets.

In 1968, David Lavery & Son relocated from the Rialto building to Port Melbourne, leaving behind the bustling surroundings of Rialto Lane, the cobblestones below and Rialto residents above.

Flinders Lane_Entrance to Rialto Lane-National Library of Victoria
Flinders Lane Entrance to Rialto Lane – National Library of Victoria
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