'Disgrace': Investors 'shafted' with Gladstone business shock closure
GONE are the days you can head to Brumby's in Gladstone for a cheese and bacon pie and chocolate milk.
It was announced by franchise owners Andrew and Felicity Davis yesterday that both Gladstone stores would be closing along with two Rockhampton stores.
All employees at each of these stories received a letter informing them they no longer had a job with the company going into liquidation.
The shock news sent Gladstone pastry lovers into a meltdown, with some residents going as far as to say they were devastated by the news.
Pete Mouril said it was the result of Gladstone being strung a "dud deal” in regards to business overall.
"Big promises on industrial contracts would lead to a housing shortage etc ... (But it was) the town and hard working people who invested got shafted,” he said.
"It is a national disgrace.”
Gladstone business owner and resident Vikki Miro Valle, commented on The Observer's breaking news Facebook post saying it was "scary” for small businesses.
"Another one bites the dust,” she said.
"If bigger companies are closing down, how can a small business like ours survive?
"Especially with this enormous electricity bill every month.”
Sandy Beak said more recently Gladstone Brumby's had donated food to local schools.
"Our local businesses are very giving to our community,” she said.
"This is so very sad.”
Leanne West said that it was an opportunity for the community to support businesses like Brumby's, rather than doing nothing and waiting for the news.
"My daughter loved working in these stores and we very much supported this business,” she said.
"Good luck Felicity and Andrew and thank you for giving my daughter a job for the last 12 months.”
Other comments on the Facebook post included deep condolences to the workers who lost their jobs.
The letter sent out to employees read that despite pouring the owners pouring their personal money into the company, rising electricity costs and rent had made it too difficult.
"It has got to a point where we have no more of our personal funds to keep propping the business up,” the pair said.
"As a business we have been struggling with a decline in customers and sales over the past 12 months.
"This is not a decision that we have taken lightly and both Felicity and I have been looking at many alternatives over the past several months, having many discussions with RFG (Retail Food Group) and other parties.”
They also apologised to their employees for not giving them ongoing employment, but thanked them for their work.
"We have appreciated the effort and energy everyone has put into their work and we are extremely regretful that we have to close,” they said.
"We wish you all the best and apologise again that we have not been able to give you ongoing employment.
"Please understand that this is also a very difficult time for Felicity and I, so if you have any questions, please email us so we can address your issues as we are able to.”
The two Gladstone stores were located at Stockland and the Gladstone Square Shopping Centre.
Retail Food Group - which owns Brumby's, among many other franchises, such as Donut King, Michel's Patisserie, and Pizza Capers - has been contacted for comment.