At least 10 Gympie region businesses said goodbye at some point in 2020.
At least 10 Gympie region businesses said goodbye at some point in 2020.

10 Gympie region businesses that said goodbye in 2020

Last year was made much more difficult than usual for the Gympie business world by COVID-19, but there was sad news for some companies and local faces before the pandemic even hit Australian shores.


Here’s a snapshot of which business ventures had to call time or change hands at some point in 2020:

Council cuts ties with celebrity chef after 5 year run

POPULAR chef Matt Golinski‘s role as the region’s Food Ambassador was put on the chopping block as Gympie Regional Council reviewed the role late last year.

Councillors voted 8-1 to not renegotiate Mr Golinski’s contract at a November council meeting.

The decision left Mr Golinski feeling like he had been ripping the region off.

“I was almost left at the end feeling like they were treating me like I was some sort of scammer who had been ripping them off for five years and hadn’t done anything to earn the money I’ve been getting paid,” he said in an interview with the ABC.

“Nobody at any point rang me or emailed me to say, ‘Can we help sit down with you, can we get you in?’” Mr Golinski said.

Mayor Glen Hartwig defended the choice and said letting Mr Golinski’s contract lapse was not an indictment of his work.


Funky restaurant and bar closes, reports of thousands owing

SOUTHSIDE’S Alchemy tapas bar and restaurant reportedly closed its doors for good, leaving behind a trail of debt to staff in November.

According to a former employee, who said she was owed at least four weeks’ wages, the owners were opening a second bar at Buderim as Gympie staff await payment of thousands of dollars of outstanding wages.

Management soon hit back on social media, saying “According to current press as I am sure your (sic) all aware. We are under fire. Most of you who have actually met and conversed with us. We hope you understand,” the post read.

“We have remained quiet to get all of our facts straight, while the local media (Gympie Times) has thrown us under the bus with little to no evidence of their article.”

The Facebook post was soon removed.


  Collapsed Gympie business owed 65 people $165k

THE company behind Gympie‘s Friendly Grocers blamed ongoing trading losses and economic downturn as key factors in the shock closure of the 115-year-old business.

Liquidation documents lodged with ASIC reveal Abid Australia owed more than $165,000 to 65 creditors when it shut its doors in July.

Abid was running two businesses when it fell over: Friendly Grocer Gympie (commonly known in Gympie as Heilbronn‘s), and Foodworks Birtinya.

Heilbronn’s was later saved by local businessman Ashley Learoyd.


COVID causes permanent closure of beloved Mary St store

GYMPIE’S Endeavour Foundation shut its doors permanently in July, with the pandemic dealing the death blow to a business besieged by other challenges.

Endeavour sales and marketing manager Steve Waters said the decision was influenced by other market forces.

“In recent years changing consumer spending patterns, competition from online retailers, low-priced clothing in large chain stores and increased spending in shopping centres rather than main street locations have taken their toll on our retail network,” Mr Waters said.


Collapsed Gympie region company blames flawed State law

STATE laws requiring retirement village owners to buy back freehold land they do not own were blamed for the collapse of a Tin Can Bay retirement village into liquidation in June.

The operators of Cooloola Waters Retirement Village pointed to the legislation as a key factor in the company winding up, aged care publication Inside Ageing revealed.


Much-loved Gympie coffee spot officially changes hands

ONE of Gympie’s favourite coffee shops officially changed hands in July.

Mary St hotspot Craft Punk Espresso was forced to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic in late March.

By July, outgoing owner Camille Nash posted her last goodbye to the Craft Punk community on Facebook.

New owner Raj Begeda pulled back the curtain on the Keen Bean on Mary later that month.


Another iconic Gympie cafe changes hands

FOR seven years Siriluk “Sileen” Moonthiya and Thomas Stuehrenberg were at the helm of the iconic Brown Jug Cafe in Mary St.

The business was on the market since December 2019 and in a bittersweet turn of events was been bought by a dynamic couple from Hervey Bay by late April.


Mary Valley ‘Kitchen’ closes

Beloved Mary Valley eatery Kandanga Kitchen called time for the foreseeable future due to the ongoing coronavirus shutdowns in April.

Trent Kirkwood and Bec Edmonds took to Facebook to announce the sad news to their host of loyal followers.

The two weren’t to be kept down by the pandemic, rebranding themselves as The Two of Us – Catering By Kandanga Kitchen in late October.


Hundreds of thousands, 30 businesses hit by company collapse

The collapse of Ri-Con Contractors in January left a financial hole at least $540,000 deep in the region, a liquidator‘s report revealed.

Thirty businesses and individuals around the region were owed money when the Sunshine Coast-based builders moved into liquidation.

Brisbane Electrical Contractors and Engineering was the hardest hit, with the liquidator estimating the business was owed $236,000.


Popular Gympie cafe shuts doors

POPULAR Gympie cake-makers Dream Cakes By Dorita shut their doors early in the new year in a decision owner Dorita Booth said was “sad” and “disappointing”.

Ms Booth said the decision, which was announced on social media, was driven by several factors.

Fighting through tears as she spoke, Ms Booth said she had been battling sickness and there had been a quiet downturn “for a while”.