The Peter Rowland story

Peter Rowland has been feeding Melbourne since 1962. From humble beginnings the Peter Rowland business has grown to become one of Australia’s most successful, innovative and respected food and entertaining companies.

The Peter Rowland story began in Portsea on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula where 24-year-old Peter Rowland OAM saw a business opportunity to sell sandwiches and cold drinks to local beachgoers.

Buoyed by the success of his sandwich venture, Peter headed to Melbourne where he set up shop as a society caterer. A born hospitalitarian, with a Virgo’s obsession with logistics, and possessed with other-worldly charm Peter attracted the attention of the cream of Australian business and society. From corporate headquarters and commercial kitchens in South Yarra Peter Rowland engineered what would become legendary parties for business titans including Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Packer, Alan Bond and Christopher Skase as well as iconic major events such as the Melbourne Cup Carnival and Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

One thing Peter was clear about from the word go was that everyone who crosses his path is an individual, with different needs and wants. No two Peter Rowland events have ever been the same. The Peter Rowland brand built its reputation on creativity and theatre, elevating catering to unseen and unique new heights.

Over the years, the business has grown from a boutique catering and events company to a multi-faceted food and entertaining business. The group’s portfolio includes exclusive private event management, major event catering, retail and hospitality consultancy, restaurant, café and venue management and e-commerce. From 2019 after feeding Melbourne for more than 50 years the iconic Peter Rowland experience is now also available in Sydney.

Peter Rowland Chairman
Peter Rowland Chairman, Peter Rowland OAM

Timeline

Humble beginnings

1962 24-year-old Peter Rowland sees a business opportunity to sell sandwiches and cold drinks to beachgoers on the Portsea back beach.

1963 Buoyed by the success of his sandwich venture, Peter heads to Melbourne where he set up shop as a society caterer. His first client is Sir William Gunn, Chairman of the Australian Wool Board.

Peter Rowland Black Tie

An icon is born

1970 The famous Peter Rowland chicken sandwich is debuted at the Melbourne Cup Birdcage. The sandwich has been on the menu ever since.

1975 Peter Rowland joins creative forces with the legendary Melbourne florist Kevin O’Neill to create a grand event for Loti Smorgon. The on-going creative partnership between Peter and Kevin was to elevate catering and events to unseen and unique new heights.

1980s A born hospitalitarian, with a Virgo’s obsession with logistics, and possessed with other-worldly charm Peter attracted the attention of the cream of Australian business and society and engineered what would become legendary parties for business titans including Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Packer, Alan Bond and Christopher Skase. Peter Rowland’s front of house staff numbers swell to 5,000 part-time.

Peter Rowland in a ballroom

Iinnovation leaders

1992 Peter Rowland moves into corporate headquarters and commercial kitchens in South Yarra which is opened by former Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett.

1994 Peter Rowland is appointed as the official on-course caterer for Victoria Racing Club

1996 Peter Rowland is appointed as advisor and official caterer to The Australian Grand Prix.

Peter Rowland with his catering produce

The empire expands

2000s The company expands from a boutique catering and events company to a multi-faceted food and entertaining business including exclusive private event management, major event catering, retail and hospitality consultancy, restaurant, café and venue management.

2004 Peter Rowland is awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2004 for his service to the community as a benefactor to a range of public and private organisations, and to the hospitality industry.

Peter Rowland on the telephone

Broadening horizons

2017 Capital Alliance Founder Mohan Du becomes principal investor, Emma Yee is appointed CEO, Peter Rowland is appointed Chairman of Peter Rowland Group.

2018 The company celebrates its 200,000th part-time staff member put through the books and launches e-commerce.

2019 After feeding Melbourne since 1962, Peter Rowland launches in Sydney.

Principal Investor Mohan Du, CEO Emma Yee, and Chairman Peter Rowland

Contact

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