Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse
THE stress of recruiting then releasing new staff hurts as much as the lost income for Kathleen and John Mahoney.
The husband and wife owners of Nambour Heights Sugar and Spice Bakery were one of a number of businesses stung by the collapse of the Woombye and Palmwoods IGA supermarkets.
Cantro Pty Ltd - trustee for the Curran Family Trust which traded as Palmwoods IGA and Woombye Supa IGA - went into liquidation on April 11, after the supermarket sites were sold to SPAR Australia on March 31.
A report to creditors published by Rapsey Griffiths Insolvency and Advisory on April 21 showed the company directed by Dennis Curran and owned by Dennis, Troy and Lisa Curran left behind more than $3.7 million in debts.
In the report liquidator Mitchell Griffiths revealed Cantro owed almost $2.9 million of that debt to unsecured creditors - largely small businesses and suppliers as well as more than $1 million to the Australian Taxation Office.
Mr and Mrs Mahoney were one of the many businesses left out of pocket.
Mrs Mahoney said they'd been approached in early March to do some baking for the stores.
They were owed more than $2950, after the cheque for the last order made on March 30 bounced.
Her daughter, a Palmwoods resident, warned them to be wary, after concerns were raised within the town about the store's future, as supplies dwindled on shelves.
"They actually rang us," Mrs Mahoney recalled.
On March 9 they began baking about $340 worth of stock daily for the stores and were paid in cheque daily at the start.
She said there'd been no issues to begin with, and they'd hired another staffer specifically to fill the order.
"We'd had no problem with the cheques until just before they (the stores) changed hands," Mrs Mahoney said.
The business owners of nine years understood orders would be expanding from bread into sweets and cakes, and they'd looked to recruit another casual, before being told March 29 would be the final order.
"I banked the cheque on Friday, realised it bounced, and John got on the phone and hounded him (Mr Curran)," she recalled.
She said they managed to recover $1500 from Mr Curran, but were still owed more than $1450.
"It is frustrating because you try really hard to get staff," she said.
"We're a small business, we had to put on extra staff to do that order."
She said they'd be lucky if the $1500 recovered would cover wages, as their ingredients bills, including flour and yeast, staff wages, superannuation and electricity had all increased in the weeks they were baking extra.
Mr Griffiths said his liquidation team was now investigating and were looking at the sale of the business.
He expected to finalise a report to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in 2-3 months, and said the directors were co-operating with the investigation.
Mr Curran was unable to comment yesterday.
Other significant debts listed in the April 21 report included $547,473.59 owed to IGA Distribution Pty Ltd, more than $160,000 to a number of IGA-listed suppliers, $244,873.11 to Energy Australia and $55,990.92 to the Queensland Office of State Revenue.
It's unclear to what extent the debts had been repaid to-date.