Popular Coast business sells to major Qld franchise

ORGANIC health food store Kunara has been sold to a leading Queensland natural and organic supermarket whose chairman and CEO have links to the Petbarn chain.

Flannerys, which has 12 stores Queensland-wide, has confirmed the purchase of Kunara after approaching owner Debbie Kearney with an offer to buy months earlier.

The deal, which took place three months ago, will see the organic marketplace at Forest Glen enter the next phase of its growth journey.

Kunara was started by Ms Kearney and late husband, John Jodvalkis, as a roadside stall 27 years ago.

It grew into a thriving organisation, employing more than 100 staff with hundreds of customers going through its doors each day.

Flannerys and Kunara chief merchant and commercial officer, Joshua Howe, provided assurance the takeover would not change the Kunara that customers have grown to love over the years.

"Partnering with Flannerys will mean opportunity for growth in all the right facets," Mr Howe said.

"The Kunara that you love will remain true - there will be more for you to enjoy, with enhanced collaboration among community, suppliers and people with the same ethical minds."

Kunara Organic Marketplace in Forest Glen.
Kunara Organic Marketplace in Forest Glen. Iain Curry

The existing staff have remained and the company hoped to take insights from Kunara into other Flannerys' stores across Queensland.

Flannerys, which also has a long history as an organic supermarket, was purchased by the Natural Grocery Company "12 months ago".

"The Flannerys board and senior management team includes experienced leaders with decades of speciality retail experience," Mr Howe said.

"The chairman, Paul Wilson, and CEO Scott Charters have both been involved previously with the highly successful Petbarn company and the large roll-out of stores across the country."

Ms Kearney said she was "more than excited about the new development".

"The decision to join forces with Flannerys was made because we know that it will carry out our vision, to make organics available to everyone, whilst providing our local growers, suppliers and staff even more opportunities," she said.

"I feel we reached a point with Kunara, and to take it even further we have linked with an incredible company to broaden our potential, vision and community.

"I know that our customers and staff are in the best hands and that expanding our family will give Kunara another burst of love and light."

Mr Howe said a new announcement about plans for the business would be announced in coming months.

"One of the imminent projects we are thrilled to be working on is the setting up of the Kunara Foundation to work across the Flannerys' network supporting charities and communities across our regions," he said.

"We are proud to announce that Debbie will be a board member of the charity continuing the legacy of Kunara, together as one."


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