Overnight sensation goes bust: Food firm's shock closure
Crazy Fresh, the innovative brainchild of Mat Walker, started out delivering pre-prepared meals, sparked by the Hepatitis A outbreak in Chinese-imported frozen berries in 2015.
The locally-sourced produce used in the meals was prepared by an in-house chef, and the meals, which started out priced between $9.95-$13.95, could be heated up in the microwave, delivering restaurant-quality meals within minutes.
The winter menu had 20 meal options and the meals could last up to a week in the fridge.
Deliveries ran twice a week to begin with and the meals were stocked in a number of Coast supermarkets.
But what was looming as a start-up success story is no longer.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission's Insolvency Notices website shows a Supreme Court order was issued on October 18 appointing Peter Dinoris as liquidator of Crazy Fresh Pty Ltd.
Mr Walker said he'd stopped trading a couple of months ago, having operated for about a year and a half.
Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast CEO Mark Paddenburg said it was a shame to see Crazy Fresh wrap up.
"Mat Walker put his heart and soul into that business and certainly gave it a red-hot go," Mr Paddenburg said.
He said it demonstrated that sometimes start-ups could grow too quickly, and it was challenging to maintain sustainable growth.
He said the business had grown very rapidly, which was often one of the greatest challenges facing start-ups.
"He (Mr Walker) had a great quality product and he was growing, he convinced IGA to get into 30 stores," Mr Paddenburg said.
"It's a shame Crazy Fresh has closed because they definitely had a very competitive product and a good price point."
Mr Paddenburg said the experience would prove valuable to Mr Walker for future ventures and he would look to bring him in to educate other entrepreneurs about some of the challenges, and the successes, Mr Walker faced.
"There was definitely some positives out of it," Mr Paddenburg said.Mr Walker said while the meals were "really well received", on refelction, a number of issues led to his company's demise, including a lack of start up capital and growing too quickly without enough resources and systems in place. All staff had been paid and Mr Walker said he was currently finalising a small debt with the ATO and three suppliers, with payment plans already set up. He said the support of local businesses who took on his product without hesitation had been a huge positive. Mr Walker said the experience left him "mentally, physically, emotionally and financially drained", but he was now back working full-time, and enjoying spending some more time with his partner and daughter. "At this stage I have no plans to start up another business as I am focused on getting my life back in balance and repaying my debt," he said.