HE was still in shock from the news, crying as he spoke.
For Roy Steverwald, being head chef at Nambour's Nook and Cranny was everything, and he loved his boss Evie Joy and colleagues like they were family.
Mr Steverwald is one of 13 staff who were - until Wednesday last week when "the Nook" was shut down - happily employed.
A qualified chef for six years, he's now contemplating the job queue at Centrelink, and searching for work.
"I started there last year," he said. "They had a few problems with chefs and that - they would turn up for one shift or not at all.
"I turned up with a positive attitude... tried to fix the place, but I had no idea how big the problems were."
Mr Steverwald moved with his mum from Noosa to Nambour for the role, and took it very seriously, his boss Ms Joy said.
The 26-year-old chef choked back tears as he explained how "debilitating" it was to lose such a great role so quickly.
"It almost feels like I've lost a child when I've lost that place," he said.
"Having people turn around to me when I bring their food out, (and say) how impressed they are with it...going back at the end of their meal and finding out they really enjoyed it...hearing that on a daily basis gives you the feeling you're really doing the job to the best of your abilities."
He said he didn't want to imagine how Ms Joy felt right now.
"It'd be heartbreaking," he said.
"She was the best boss I ever had. It didn't feel like coming to work. It felt like you were going to a family.
"She would come in in the morning with a smile on her face and I'd know exactly what they'd want for breakfast and without them asking I'd make it for them.
"She's like a mother. She cared about everyone like they were her children."
Original owner of Nook and Cranny Cameron Scott opened the business in 2015, bringing a much-needed boost to Nambour's night life with a bar and eatery that also provided a venue for local musicians.
Ms Joy said while she was an experienced business owner, the Nook was her first hospitality business and she loved how it gave her a vehicle to help people like Mr Steverwald, who had been searching for work for some time before he landed a gig with her, by creating jobs.
"Nobody was giving him a chance," she said. "We got him and he's been absolutely fabulous.
"He's one of those kids that are a bit rough around the edges.
"You can tell he's had a really hard life but he's very, very loyal and extremely passionate about cooking."
Ms Joy said she had stopped paying rent at the business, which was forced to close on Wednesday after Energex cut power, following reports of staff receiving electric shocks.
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