7 February, 2024

Recovery needs more dough

Now into month two of the year, much conversation remains around the recovery from last year’s cyclone and subsequent rain.

Mike gets back to work in the kitchen.
Mike gets back to work in the kitchen.

I am pleased to report on one Mossman business, that experienced the full rigours of the floods along Front Street, has bounced back to reopen its doors.

Duke’s Donuts, owned and run by Sally and Mike Miller, opened only last year in March after much hard work setting up. Homemade donuts together with coffees and other bakery items have become increasingly popular with both locals and visitors, right up to the point when Jasper paid a visit and hung around for the Christmas festivities far too long.

Having seen at least 30cm of flood water, Sally and Mike, with the help of friends, immediately mucked out under their own steam with the hope of getting back open as quickly as possible.

It was evident from very early on that significant damage had been done to vital equipment, essential for their normal operation. Another local business kindly loaned some equipment which at least allowed them to trade over the holiday period.

Like many others, our local donut experts have been awaiting a hydrologist report for insurance purposes. They have also considered the lengthy process of applying for a government grant, or should I say loan.

As previously discussed in the ‘Goss’, the loan application nearly requires a first-class honours degree in English literature, plus business and personal records from the last three years. Not really what you need at this stage after a major disaster. 

For Dukes it was, in fact, a double whammy, as the heavy rain also came in through the ceiling.

Thus far, Sally and Mike have self-funded the replacement equipment required to get back on track, with the hope that an insurance payout will come soon.

The good news is that the hydrologist has now made the visit and they wait with bated breath for an insurance company decision.

Duke’s is not just about the coffee and donuts, as the bakery at the rear produces all sorts of delights that are not only sold in store, but also at the Port Douglas market on Sundays.

On the face of it, the store looks in pretty good shape, but in reality, a new floor is likely to be required costing around $10,000, the ceiling will need to be repaired and walls painted. In addition, slowly swelling cabinetry will need replacement and a refrigerated display cabinet sits in darkness, a replacement for which is something in the order of $7000. 

They are, of course, hoping that the they will eventually get the financial support they deserve and their insurance company will do the right thing.

As we know already know, other organisations are still in the same boat, if you’ll excuse the rather unfortunate term, so we wish them all a positive resolution, sooner rather than later.

I’m off to support local businesses and have a cinnamon donut, so now it’s Gazza signing out.

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Sally pleased to be serving again.
Sally pleased to be serving again.
Above, and right: Duke’s Donuts staff mucking out after the floods.
Above, and right: Duke’s Donuts staff mucking out after the floods.

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