The Stakelum’s Story

Our people are at the heart of everything we do.

For over 80 years, the Stakelum name has been associated with business. The origins and growth of our businesses carrying the name creates a rich tapestry. Through decades, weaving strands of determination, innovation, continuous improvement, and dedication has led us to where we are now. Through our lifetime in business, we know and meet the needs of every customer that we have the pleasure of serving. We are with you at every step of life’s journey.


‘Before the term customer service became ‘core to business philosophy’ the Stakelums were living it’.

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Deep roots in the community

1940’s
The Beginning
The origins of Stakelum’s business can be traced back to the 1940’s in Tipperary. 18-year-old Conor Stakelum, from a farming family of 10, was given the opportunity by a relation - the owner of Maher’s hardware in Borrisleigh - to take over the business. While taking over the successful business was an incredible opportunity, the commitment required was immense - working 6 and a half days a week - the business was to become Conor’s life. From this experience Conor coined the overall business ethos that would embody Stakelum;

‘being people focused, fair in approach, measured, striving towards continuous improvement and driven to wanting to do better’.

1980’s
Passing on the legacy - Stakelum Office Supplies

Originally set-up by Gerry Stakelum (brother of Conor Senior) and his wife Nuala Stakelum Office Supplies has been in business for over 50 years in Thurles.
Stakelum Office Supplies had beginnings on Croke Street, in Thurles. Gerry’s brothers thought he was stone mad being in business in 1986, at a time when bank interest rates were 25%. However, Gerry showed real grit. In 1986, Gerry bought the existing building - the site of the old Dwan’s mineral factory.
In 1992, Gerry and Nuala decided to retire from the business. Conor Snr., Gerry’s brother, urged his son Conor Jnr. to purchase the business; using his own words, ‘he must not be a fool, having qualified as an accountant and working for PWC’.
At 23, with the call back to a family business and the debt to go with it, Conor Jnr. needed to quickly find his entrepreneurial spirit. Taking all the learnings from his lifetime apprenticeship in business, rolling up his sleeves and using the positive exposure and goodwill achieved through hurling and integrate learnings from 10 years on the field of competitive play - Conor Jnr. set out to run the business.

‘Live by a strong team ethos, take the knocks and stay going. Make continuous improvements and always strive to do better became the business mantra’.

1950’s – 1970s
Building a Legacy

Conor then married Angela Quinn, who was from a well-known dairy farming family. Angela’s family had a history in business innovation, they had their own bottling plant and were the first to sell milk door to door in Thurles. With a family background steeped in G.A.A. and hurling, with his brother Pat being the top hurler in Tipperary- Conor was competitive by nature, and was driven to compete against the local competition in the Thurles hardware sector. He expanded the business beyond Borrisleigh, opening another hardware business Thurles. Together Conor and Angela went on to have 11 children. ‘From the time your head was above the counter you became part of the business’. Academic achievement was very much prioritised, ensuring that every child was afforded the opportunity to attend 3rd level, but competition and sport were also rooted in the family; from hurling and golf to rugby. In 1987 one of the boys, Richie, would captain the Tipperary hurling team to end the famine of winning- and another son, Conor Jnr., would also play hurling at club, minor and senior level. In 1987, heartbreak would hit the family when, at the age of 55, Angela died suddenly. With the help of his family Conor Snr. would continue to build out the business- but he too would pass away early at the age of 65. Sons Pat and John would go on to take over; and successfully grow the hardware and electrical business.

‘From the time your head was above the counter you became part of the business’.

1990’s to 2020
Building Stakelum Office Supplies and More

A great addition to the team came in 1996, when Conor Jnr. married Denise Murphy, an engineer with industry experience in the likes of Abbott and Merck sharp & Dohme. Stepping in early, Denise would lighten the burden of driving growth. Conor focused on building a very successful national business in office furniture, supplies and design services, which remains the heart and core of the business.

‘Success is based on building long term relationships through effective customer service, with multi-nationals and homegrown businesses among our customers’.

Acknowledging the importance of achieving a work/life balance for the family business- seeing staff as part of the family- Denise focused on effective staff relations, while also building out new product lines that would add value not only at a consumer level, but in time, a business level. They introduced new lines across toys, applying a high degree of intelligence in product selection, including key anchor brands in toys such as Lego, Vtech and Fisher Price, bringing what was available on the high street to Thurles and beyond. Denise remains committed to meeting needs across early learning, and along these lines Stakelums also became a supplier of school books and stationery to schools and individuals, building warm relationships over the years.

1940’s
The Beginning
The origins of Stakelum’s business can be traced back to the 1940’s in Tipperary. 18-year-old Conor Stakelum, from a farming family of 10, was given the opportunity by a relation - the owner of Maher’s hardware in Borrisleigh - to take over the business. While taking over the successful business was an incredible opportunity, the commitment required was immense - working 6 and a half days a week - the business was to become Conor’s life. From this experience Conor coined the overall business ethos that would embody Stakelum;

‘being people focused, fair in approach, measured, striving towards continuous improvement and driven to wanting to do better’.

1950’s – 1970s
Building a Legacy

Conor then married Angela Quinn, who was from a well-known dairy farming family. Angela’s family had a history in business innovation, they had their own bottling plant and were the first to sell milk door to door in Thurles. With a family background steeped in G.A.A. and hurling, with his brother Pat being the top hurler in Tipperary- Conor was competitive by nature, and was driven to compete against the local competition in the Thurles hardware sector. He expanded the business beyond Borrisleigh, opening another hardware business Thurles. Together Conor and Angela went on to have 11 children. ‘From the time your head was above the counter you became part of the business’. Academic achievement was very much prioritised, ensuring that every child was afforded the opportunity to attend 3rd level, but competition and sport were also rooted in the family; from hurling and golf to rugby. In 1987 one of the boys, Richie, would captain the Tipperary hurling team to end the famine of winning- and another son, Conor Jnr., would also play hurling at club, minor and senior level. In 1987, heartbreak would hit the family when, at the age of 55, Angela died suddenly. With the help of his family Conor Snr. would continue to build out the business- but he too would pass away early at the age of 65. Sons Pat and John would go on to take over; and successfully grow the hardware and electrical business.

‘From the time your head was above the counter you became part of the business’.

1980’s
Passing on the legacy - Stakelum Office Supplies

Originally set-up by Gerry Stakelum (brother of Conor Senior) and his wife Nuala Stakelum Office Supplies has been in business for over 50 years in Thurles.
Stakelum Office Supplies had beginnings on Croke Street, in Thurles. Gerry’s brothers thought he was stone mad being in business in 1986, at a time when bank interest rates were 25%. However, Gerry showed real grit. In 1986, Gerry bought the existing building - the site of the old Dwan’s mineral factory.
In 1992, Gerry and Nuala decided to retire from the business. Conor Snr., Gerry’s brother, urged his son Conor Jnr. to purchase the business; using his own words, ‘he must not be a fool, having qualified as an accountant and working for PWC’.
At 23, with the call back to a family business and the debt to go with it, Conor Jnr. needed to quickly find his entrepreneurial spirit. Taking all the learnings from his lifetime apprenticeship in business, rolling up his sleeves and using the positive exposure and goodwill achieved through hurling and integrate learnings from 10 years on the field of competitive play - Conor Jnr. set out to run the business.

‘Live by a strong team ethos, take the knocks and stay going. Make continuous improvements and always strive to do better became the business mantra’.

1990’s to 2020
Building Stakelum Office Supplies and More

A great addition to the team came in 1996, when Conor Jnr. married Denise Murphy, an engineer with industry experience in the likes of Abbott and Merck sharp & Dohme. Stepping in early, Denise would lighten the burden of driving growth. Conor focused on building a very successful national business in office furniture, supplies and design services, which remains the heart and core of the business.

‘Success is based on building long term relationships through effective customer service, with multi-nationals and homegrown businesses among our customers’.

Acknowledging the importance of achieving a work/life balance for the family business- seeing staff as part of the family- Denise focused on effective staff relations, while also building out new product lines that would add value not only at a consumer level, but in time, a business level. They introduced new lines across toys, applying a high degree of intelligence in product selection, including key anchor brands in toys such as Lego, Vtech and Fisher Price, bringing what was available on the high street to Thurles and beyond. Denise remains committed to meeting needs across early learning, and along these lines Stakelums also became a supplier of school books and stationery to schools and individuals, building warm relationships over the years.

2021
A New Outlook

Together, Conor and Denise, with the help of the next generation, continue to build a unique company, meeting the needs of businesses and individuals across the 3 core areas of Work, Learn and Play. While continuing to grow their retail outlet, they have embraced the concept of meeting the customer where they are and have successfully launched online and social shopping.

‘As the lines between work and home blur, we find ourselves time poor and at Stakelum we are committed to bring our high-quality broad range of products and service to our customers, where they are and when they are needed, while office supplies are still at our core, we now here to serve across Work, Learn and Play.

The
Stakelum Store
Promise

At Stakelum Store, we've made a promise to be best we can be.