POSITIVE OUTLOOK: Infants' Friend boss Neil McPhillips has taken the business to new heights.
POSITIVE OUTLOOK: Infants' Friend boss Neil McPhillips has taken the business to new heights. Mike Knott BUN100118NEIL4

Ipswich baby product is an Australian success story

IF YOU have a baby, then chances are you have used Infants' Friend.

It is a product for the relief of colic and wind. What you may not know is this product comes from Ipswich.

It is a quiet achiever but was given due recognition at the end of 2017 when the company was awarded Small Business of the Year in the Business Awards presented by the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce.

It is little wonder that this product, developed by J.C. Minnis since 1935, took out this prestigious award.

It is the number one product for colic and wind in Australia, and the business has achieved a 500 per cent business growth in the past 15 years.

Neil McPhillips is the owner of the product today.

He does not live in Ipswich but has been a long time resident and businessman in the city.

"The acquisition of the product is an odd story. A friend of mine was the pharmacy assistant for J.C. Minnis.

"The business closed in 1985 and Mrs Minnis gave Geoff Price the rights to the product. They were gifted to him for his loyal service as an employee," he said.

Mr McPhillips said the product was made from out of Geoff Price's home until the early 2000s.

By this time, the business support was lacking with the need for Mr Price to consider using a computer and look at marketing beyond Ipswich and Brisbane.

Geoff Price made a comment in passing to Neil McPhillips that he might sell and he indicated his interest. The rest is now history.

"The head office is still in Ipswich and we are proud of its heritage," Mr McPhillips

"It is a long way from only being available from Minnis Pharmacy only to now sell in leading pharmacies around Australia and also being stocked by Woolworths and Coles."

In 2012, Infants' Friend developed a new product called Infants' Friend Comfy Baby Cream with aloe vera. This product is a natural, nappy-rash cream that uses aloe vera as the main rash soothing ingredient.

The Comfy Baby Cream is now being distributed Australia-wide and looks like being just as popular.

"I have an old spirax note pad that has the hand written recipes and formulas by J.C. Minnis. He developed many.

"Many products, remedies for pain and other conditions. It is a real treasure," he said.

Mr McPhillips was there to receive the chamber award.

"We fly below the radar so to be mentioned was quite an honour. I was a little bit proud to accept the award," he said.

"I have to say that it was enlightening to come back to Ipswich, to see the strength of the business community and the number of businesses in town, it is fantastic."

He had high praise for the chamber and how strong it is in the city.

"It was great to see some of the old faces but very exciting to see so many new faces and young professionals coming through.

"People should be proud of what is being achieved, he said.

The exceptional national growth and the constant interest from overseas continue to give Mr McPhillips and co-boss Greg Walsh hope that this long-term product is here to stay.