IT WASN'T the region's biggest piece of industry by a long shot, but as a good story, it had the rest licked.
An ice cream stick factory that had carved out a global niche, and a multi-million dollar business, from right here in Gladstone.
Austicks had been operating for more than 20 years, at its peak pumping out 1.5 billion ice cream sticks a year.
The only factory of its kind in Australia, Austicks had won awards for improving waste management and sustainability, and used locally-sourced hoop pine.
But none of that could make the final difference.
Incredibly, the owners decided it made more sense to buy in sticks from France, than keep its 50-strong local workforce.
It's a reflection of the tough conditions that manufacturing - central Queensland's biggest industry - faces across Australia.
And it's why jobs and job security will decide the coming Federal Election.
It's a month to go. We need to hear strong plans for jobs growth in Flynn.