What began over 160 years ago with a small family-run shoemaking enterprise has now grown into a skiwear boutique, redefining Australian winter style.
Established in 1854 in King Street Melbourne by J. Molony, the family owned business of Molony’s initially specialised in shoemaking. But it was really through the family’s passion for winter sports that the true seed was planted, and helped to shape the future of alpine retail within Australia.
Their deeply rooted love for the winter season can be traced back to the grandson of Mr J. Molony himself, Edward Molony - a renowned ice-hockey player of the 1920’s. One generation later, Geoff and Gweneth Henke (formerly Molony) took the reins – with Geoff as a National ice-hockey team member, and Gweneth representing Australia at the 1952 Olympic Games in Oslo, Norway. Years later, in 1976, their daughter Jo, was to become an Olympian herself, skiing for Australia in the Innsbruck Winter Olympics: the family alpine tradition was now not merely a passion, but was to become inextricably linked to their business.
Over a century passed after their original store opening, and in 1959 Molony’s moved to Elizabeth Street, opposite the Melbourne GPO building. It was with this transition that the former shoe business transformed into the leading ski shop in Melbourne, retailing “everything except the snow”.
Over the years Molony’s in Elizabeth Street expanded, opening up new premises in Falls Creek (1960), Mt. Buller (1969) and eventually, Dinner Plain (1985) – the only freehold mountain village above the snowline. As Dinner Plain grew as a village, so too did Molony’s, bringing with it a ski lift, ski school as well as hire and retail, and an unwavering devotion to the Molony’s family heritage.
After many years in the mountains, Jo and Doug McDougall, along with their two children – Lucy and EJ, the proud, family owners of Molony’s, have opened their new establishment in Malvern Rd, South Yarra, bringing with them their passion for all-things winter.