A COMMITTEE comprising JCA leaders and prominent business and communal figures has been charged with restructuring Sydney’s largest kosher caterer after it went into voluntary administration last Thursday.
Four businesspeople within the group, who asked not to be named, have committed to bankrolling Passion8 if necessary, but only until September 1.
The next creditors meeting, which is expected to decide the future of the company, is scheduled for August 22.
“Thank God for the community because the positivity and the support that we have received has been phenomenal and we couldn’t have got through this without them,” Passion8 director Steve Edelmuth said this week.
Edelmuth said that he couldn’t make any promises for functions after September 1, but he was confident the business would continue.
“We have personally contacted all individuals that are having functions with us,” Edelmuth said.
“If the committee decides there is no way to keep it going there is a problem, but I’m confident that Passion8 will continue and I am confident the functions booked will be as good, if not better.”
Edelmuth revealed that Passion8’s turnover fell by more than $650,000 in the last 12 months, explaining that since the global financial crisis people were spending less on functions.
Administrator Manfred Holzman has asked the community to remain patient and not panic.
“I can’t give people a guarantee at this stage, but I wouldn’t expect people to make alternative arrangements,” Holzman said.
“I’m confident there will still be a kosher caterer and this business will be operating under new ownership.”
JCA chief executive Ian Sandler has been heading up the committee that is tasked with restructuring the business.
“We are the planner for the community and Passion8 provides vital services and looks after the big communal functions,” Sandler said.
Sandler added that the potential collapse of Passion8 would jeopardise the COA’s Meals on Wheels programs, to which it gives 600 meals every week, and big communal organisations, such as JCA, WIZO and many others, would struggle to put on functions.
“We are providing the intellectual capital to assist the voluntary administrator. That’s all that we are here for.”
Kashrut Authority president Baron Revelman said Passion8 delivered the highest standards of kosher catering and he was “deeply saddened” by the current situation facing the caterer.
“We pray they successfully come through this period of voluntary administration and are able to continue to trade,” he said. “Should, God forbid, they not be successful, the Kashrut Authority will be available to assist kosher consumers in finding alternate arrangements with our other kosher caterers.”
And the Rabbinic Council of NSW said they wished Passion8 well and hoped they could turn their fortunes around, but noted that there are 16 other diverse caterers in Sydney who would now need to “up their game”.
“We are confident that the public will be pleasantly surprised at what they will be able to get for their dollar.”
Passion8 has gone into voluntary administration. Photo: Ingrid Shakenovsky.