Back in 1987, Eric and Joy Heintze started Greenock Creek Charter with one 50 passenger bus and one school run. Their children could not believe that their parents bought the vehicle that they had been catching to school for years.
Joy did the school run herself and – once her initial surprise at the length of the vehicle wore off – it wasn’t long before she got into the swing of it and enjoyed carting the students to and from school. Over the years the business grew to a fleet of six vehicles, and Greenock Creek Charter became the well-known and respected business is today. Eric and Joy started offering day trips for the local community, visiting places all over South Australia. These trips turned into tours which took locals all over Australia and New Zealand.
In 2001, they asked their daughter Ann if she would like to come and do a few hours of work each week. Ann jumped at the opportunity. She was a full-time mum to a premature baby, and this was a great outlet for her. Ann took her baby Caitlyn to work with her, which was a bonus for Joy as she got to see more of her granddaughter (and then her second granddaughter) as they grew up. After a few years Ann knew that when Eric and Joy decided to retire, she wanted to take over the business.
In 2018 Eric and Joy finally approached Ann with the news – and after a lengthy process Eric and Joy officially retired in 2020. Ann had really enjoyed the time with her mum, learning the ropes of the business from her. Joy and Eric helped shape who Ann is today as the new business owner.
Greenock Creek Charter employees ten staff, two full time in the office and eight casuals. Still keeping in the family, Ann’s two daughters Caitlyn and Cassandra work now in the office. They provide business support for their Mum and implement new and fresh ideas, just as Ann did for her parents. The fleet consists of 2 x 50 passenger vehicles, 3 x 57 passenger vehicles, 1 x 24 passenger vehicle and 1 x 7 passenger vehicle. Ann works with local businesses to for extra transport options when required.
It’s been over 30 years since that first school bus was purchased, and Greenock Creek Charter still looks after 3 daily school runs. Business was looking better than ever at the start of 2020. Ann had more wedding charters booked than ever before. There were daytrips coming up, and overnight tours to Mt Gambier, Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island booked as well. Sadly, all of this has gone into hibernation with COVID-19.
One of Greenock Creek Charter’s successful initiatives is the ‘Buskateers’ group (formerly known as the Barossa Daytrippers), started by Eric and Joy in 1996. Ann sends a bi-monthly newsletter to the 300 group members, sharing information about upcoming concert trips, tours, day trips and local events. It creates a great sense of community and helps to get some of the older group members out of the house and interacting with the world. With COVID-19 restrictions currently lifting in SA, and local communities itching to get out and about, she’s hoping the group continues to grow and thrive.
Ann has been using the current ‘quieter time’ to contemplate new markets and is looking at future expansion of her business. With her genuine love of the industry, her business acumen, and her strongly held views on safety and business responsibility, we believe she’ll do brilliantly. Bus SA wholeheartedly wishes Ann great ongoing success.
Visit the website: www.greenockcreekcharter.com.