Robbie D Fruit and Vege suffers heavy loss from power outage
ICONIC Rockhampton fruit and veg supplier Robbie Dunnett could be forced to close his doors after more than 40 years in business.
Mr Dunnett, owner of Robbie D Fruit and Veg on Dean St, said the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Marcia had left him with a stock loss of more than $20,000.
"It's so disheartening," he said.
"My 40 years of earning is gone.
"I've been knocked down a lot of times in business and got back up, but this time I might have to throw the towel in."
A grim-faced Robbie said he was among the few food sites not trading due to flooding and loss of power.
"I opened Monday and Tuesday but the generator was deteriorating stock quicker than it was selling," he said.
"People weren't buying in volume - they were heading to Woolworths or Coles where it was air-conditioned.
"Ergon have really left us little blokes in the lurch."
The local distributor said pears, mangoes, bananas and peach crops were particularly hurt by the heat, but the other produce was no better off.
"I have two industrial-sized bins full of rotten stock," he said.
"I'm doing my best to salvage all the produce I can, but it isn't looking good."
An emotional Robbie hoped power would return to the Frenchville district overnight to accommodate his restoration efforts.
"I'm praying for help. Over 10 staff members are in jeopardy of losing their jobs if the insurance claim doesn't meet the loss," he said.
"It will all depend on when I can afford to purchase more stock and when it can be delivered from Brisbane."