by Amy Haydock
IT'S no easy feat running a business, and many minor issues can quickly become one big problem.
That's been the case for Yeppoon bakery business Loaf by the Beach, which has now closed all three locations on the coast. This comes after four other bakery's have shut up shop this week in both Rockhampton and Gladstone.
After informing staff of the bad news the business had gone into voluntary liquidation last Wednesday, owner Dorothy Skinn told The Morning Bulletin that sales had been on the decline for quite some time.
"It's never ever one thing that sends a company into liquidation," she said. "There's been a lack of sales around town. In my opinion, basically, the confidence in the economy here (affected business). We have a lot pensioners, and they had a limited amount to spend on cakes and coffee, and will cut out that little snack which also led sales to decrease.
"And the economy didn't come back after December, and then there was the price of wages and penalty rates and bakers trying to make ends meet. Night time baking costs more which we had to do from our James St store because of the large amount of bread we had to bake.
"In the shopping centre we were very close to Woolies with cheaper bread. So there was really a number of things. Cost in rent in Yeppoon is extremely high, so everything fell together (to impact us), and we didn't see the upturn in the economy."
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Owning and operating the businesses in Normanby St, James St and Yeppoon Central for the past two years, Dorothy said it was a shame to see the stores close not only for the community but as an owner of other successful bakeries across Central Queensland.
"I've owned bakeries for about 12 years that have been quite successful out west (Barcaldine and Longreach), and run at a profit," she said.
Operating the businesses along with her son Shannon, Dorothy said she phoned her 30 staff immediately to notify them.
"Across the three stores we had 30 staff, five apprentices, three to four bakers," she said.
"A lot of them were young school students or university students. "(I'm a) bit down," Dorothy said of the situation.
"I'm hoping somebody may buy the stores individually, in particular the James St store.
"If not, the liquidator will sell the equipment individually. "Anyone who is interested in setting up a store, a pie shop or café might do well in that area."
Paying $10,000 a year in electricity bills across two of the stores also impacted heavily on their running costs.
Dorothy did agree the cheaper price of bread and baked goods from large supermarket chains like Woolworths and Coles could have had a negative impact on the bakeries sales.
"We also sold a lot of different sour dough breads at the Saturday markets in Yeppoon and in Rocky which were popular, to try and pick up our sales. "We tried quite a lot of things to keep it going but it just wasn't viable in the end."