Community rallies around Koornang Hot Bread in Mel...

Community rallies around Koornang Hot Bread in Melbourne

Street front of a small bakery, a sign reading HOT BREAD is hanging out the front (Koornang Hot Bread)

The family-owned and much beloved bakery Koornang Hot Bread in Melbourne may soon face closure over increasing rent rates.

Na Nguyen and his wife, who arrived in Australia from Vietnam in the 1980s, have been running Koornang Hot Bread in Melbourne’s south east for over a decade.

Nguyen came to Australia via a Thai refugee camp after escaping conscription into the Vietnamese Army of Communists.

The Nguyens’ previous lease agreement had them paying $55,000 per year for the space. That has since morphed into a month-to-month arrangement that sees the couple pay what works out the be $70,000 per year.

The landlord is currently looking to fill the space with a tenant paying $115,000 a year, which is a massive mark up on what Koornang Hot Bread is paying. Koornang Hot Bread is unable to service this new lease, and they and the rest of the community are worried that the business will close without premises to operate out of.

Na Nguyen told A Current Affair “If I lose my business, I’ve got nothing. I’ll go home with nothing.”

Customers are outraged at the idea that this favourite of the Melbourne landscape may have to close down.

Carnegie local, Christ Tsalakis told A Current Affair, “They’re the backbone of the community, and they’ve been here for a very long time. To see someone forced out of business, it’s just very upsetting.”

The locals have been campaigning for the landlords to try to keep the bakery open.

It seems that an interim solution has been tentatively reached. The landlords are allowing the Nguyens to remain in the premises until they find a tenant who will pay the asking price or Koornang Hot Bread finds a new location.

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