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Major Brisbane bakery empire devastated in floods

Major Brisbane bakery empire devastated in floods

A major Brisbane bakery and restaurant empire has been left devastated by the floods which have ravaged the city this week, losing $150,000 worth of food in an electricity outage.

Award-winning chef Shannon Kellam’s wholesale bakery and patisserie, The Kneadery, lost more than $150,000 worth of pastries, breads, baked goods and other perishable stock on Monday after electricity was cut in the flood-impacted Mercedes-Benz building in Newstead.

The Kneadery supplies Shannon’s other businesses which include the iconic King Street Bakery, French restaurant Montrachet, Mica cafe and patisserie as well as their many wholesale customers, which include top Brisbane restaurants and Coles Local stores.

Attempts to find a generator to power the facility were unsuccessful, as was the case for many other businesses and residents impacted by flooding across South East Queensland.

Shannon told the Courier-Mail that he and his wife, Clare, were unsure if insurance would cover their losses, estimating it would cost them more than $200,000, and 30 chefs to start again.

“The issue we’ve got is because everything is artisan made and we make things in volume … it would take about two weeks of a brigade of 30 chefs to be back to where we are now, so that cost right there—wages, food costs, everything—you’re looking at replacement costs of over $200,000 and I don’t know how we can do that,” Shannon said.

“If we can’t trade, we can’t make money, we can’t pay the bills, and we don’t know when we’ll be able to trade; and if we are covered by insurance, when is that going to come through?”

However, the pair were heartened by the local community’s response to the ‘bake sale’ they held on Tuesday, March 1 at King Street Bakery to quickly sell around 5000 handmade pies, sausage rolls and pasties and recover some of their losses.

Part of the bake sale’s success is owed to tech entrepreneur Bevan Slattery, who stepped in and bought 1,000 pies, which will be handed out free to ‘Mud Army’ disaster cleanup volunteers who show up at the bakery.

“Thank you Brisbane,” a post on the King Street Bakery’s Facebook page on Wednesday read.
“We appreciate everyone that came down over the past couple of days to buy pies and coffee!
“It saddens us to see so many Brisbanites struggling, but we know the community spirit will triumph and see us all through to the other side.
“King Street Bakery is now closed until further notice; our central production kitchen and bakery is still without power leaving us unable to produce our tasty treats for the time being.
“We will keep you posted on how things are travelling and look forward to seeing you back on King Street at the bakery and at MICA Brasserie, and Mica Express hopefully sooner rather than later.
“Take care, and again, from the bottom of our hearts a sincere thank you”.

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