Small firm has a big crash

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Most companies which go broke in Queenstown exit with a whimper – Renaissance Florist went out with a bang. 

Renaissance – which means revival – went bust for $349,922, the liquidators of the Remarkables Park florist record in their final report of January 30. 

The failed firm’s 47 creditors won’t get a cent. 

Renaissance Florist Ltd was formed in June 2010 by sole shareholder-director Tanya Baker and put into liquidation by her less than two years later on her accountants’ advice. 

“Trading was not sufficient to sustain the level of the company’s overheads,” liquidators Shephard Dunphy of Wellington say. 

The liquidators also cite “concerns about the conduct of the company director [Baker]”, reporting these to the Companies Office, which “decided not to pursue this matter further”. 

Shephard Dunphy’s Iain Shephard wouldn’t elaborate this week but told Mountain Scene the concerns were minor. 

Assets of the Renaissance store were of “minimal value”, fetching just $6000 from “an unrelated third party”, the liquidators say. 

Renaissance banker Kiwibank didn’t file a claim, the liquidators note, “as [Kiwibank was] fully paid by the guarantor” – understood to be Baker’s mother. 

Baker herself now fronts another florist, the relatively new Wild Poppies in Gorge Road Retail Centre. 

“I don’t own Wild Poppies at all,” she tells Mountain Scene. “I’m just employed to manage it for Kerry Bradburn from Auckland.” 

Baker says sorry to Renaissance creditors: “I’ve been through hell. I haven’t done anything wrong, I just got caught up in a bad situation.” 

Shortly after Mountain Scene called Baker, Wild Poppies owner Kerry Bradburn rang the paper. 

“[Baker] has nothing to do with the management of the business, she’s literally there to put the orders out and manage the customers,” Bradburn says. 

Bradburn says she had no money in Renaissance but tried to help Baker – who she didn’t know – when the Queenstowner rang out of the blue about business troubles 18 months ago. 

“I came into the picture as a person trying to help her for no financial gain whatsoever out of the goodness of my heart,” Bradburn says. 

Renaissance’s lease was too expensive, Bradburn claims: “[Baker] made a lot of mistakes but they were genuine mistakes. That girl has lost everything.” 

The Auckland florist says she’s not only given Baker a job but confirms she, Bradburn, was also the unnamed buyer of Renaissance assets – which she bought “way after” the liquidation.