Liquidators, owners carve up Toowoomba food empire
THE group behind Junk, The Chelsea Bar, The Office have called in liquidators to carve up their assets.
Worldwide Hospitality Group flagged the end of its southeast Queensland food empire with the recent sale of its three thriving Toowoomba restaurants.
The latest move comes as its Brisbane and Gold Coast Junk restaurants were closed down last week.
Liquidators were called in as directors raised concerns about the profitability of one of the city's biggest food empires, according to the firm handling the process.
The firm said Sunshine Coast duo Scott Hoskins' and Tony Kelly's runaway success Worldwide Hospitality Group recently sold Junk, The Office, speakeasy The Chelsea Bar.
Cafe Milk and Honey was sold seven months ago.
The group also sold Junk South Bank and shut down its Cooparoo and Broadbeach Junk stores as part of a move to place the company in liquidation prompted by directors last week.
The Chronicle understands, however, the Sunshine Coast entrepreneurs had already sold off their shares in the company.
The decision signals an end to the dining empire that spanned across southeast Queensland.
The liquidator in charge of the winding up process stressed the Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast businesses formerly under the WHG umbrella would be trading as normal and no jobs were in jeopardy after being sold to an independent third party.
The same could not be said for WHG's other restaurants in the Brisbane and the Gold Coast which had ceased trading last week.
"Directors were concerned the group was not trading profitably," Roland Robson of Robson Cotter Insolvency said.
"There were certain sites that did trade well and there were certain sites that did not.
"The non-profitable ones have been shut down and the profitable ones have been sold off."
Mr Hoskins and Mr Kelly built their food empire from a single Junk store on the Sunshine Coast in 2015 before targeting Toowoomba, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The pair had also slated an ambitious wood-fired pizza restaurant, Pyro, as their next endeavour in town but never managed to get it off the ground.
Mr Hoskins remains the sole owner of the Maroochydore store and told the Sunshine Coast Daily it was "a shame" to see the split.
*An earlier version of this story may confused readers to believe Milk and Honey was sold as part of the WHG liquidation process. Milk and Honey Espresso is a family-owned business which has been running independently since being sold to Kevin and Doulina White in August 2017. The Whites have taken the cafe through a significant growth phase since their purchase of the business last year.They have expanded to catering large scale events, including the upcoming Curve Ball charity event. The Chronicle apologises for the confusion.*