Golden Crust Hot Bread owners Brett and Jodie Rook with their grandson Billy, 3, at their premises in Lismore after the flood.
Golden Crust Hot Bread owners Brett and Jodie Rook with their grandson Billy, 3, at their premises in Lismore after the flood. Marc Stapelberg

Lismore baker 'starting from scratch' after floods

A KEEN Street bakery with a loyal following has committed to opening its doors again despite being wiped out in the floods.

Golden Crust Hot Bread owners Jody and Brett Rook did their best to evacuate their valuable baking equipment the night before the flood topped the levee but their best efforts weren't enough to save valuable equipment, including a $51,000 oven.

The business was not insured for flooding, and their insurer told them they did not qualify for storm damage.

"Our equipment was antiquated, but very well loved and maintained," Mrs Rook said. "To replace those pieces of equipment at today's cost is so expensive."

Mrs Rook described the post-flood recovery process as "two steps forward and three back".

"Financially we are starting from scratch.

"It's a bit scary at our age," she said. "We're just going to have to go back into debt.

Despite the impact, they are committed to reopening, but no fixed date has been set at this stage.

Her husband Brett has always been a baker sine the age of 14 after doing a local apprenticeship in Lismore: "For him to start again at 53, to start all over again (in a new career), would be very distressing," she said.

 

 

If they packed it in, Mrs Rook the couple would miss the familiar routine of serving loyal customers every day.

"You become part of their lives and they become part of yours," she said.

"Hopefully people will return. We were very well supported locally, so we're looking forward to reopening.

"When you've always been a worker it's really hard to sit at home and have your hands tied."

Shed paid tribute to the generosity of people following the disaster.

"We've had such lovely people come in, even today a customer came in and offered us quite a substantial amount of money interest free."

"We're hoping to start with what we can get together ourselves, but that is such a beautiful gesture.

"It's brought out the generosity of people."



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