Couran Cove. Photo: Supplied.
Couran Cove. Photo: Supplied.

Former RFG boss’ ‘retreat’ up for sale

A TRANQUIL retreat where former Retail Food Group boss Tony Alford apparently enjoyed some respite from the 'privilege' of heading a business has been slipped on to the market.

The property's one where you can't just jump in the car and head down the road if you feel like a Brumbies pastry or a Gloria Jeans coffee.

Try a boat - the house is on South Stradbroke Island.

More accurately, the home's in what for many years was known as Couran Point, until in 2016 a marketing guru reportedly decided the waterfront estate would be more saleable if it was renamed South Stradbroke Island Waters.

The beaches around Couran Cove. Photo: Steve Holland
The beaches around Couran Cove. Photo: Steve Holland

The four-bedroom retreat, described as on an 'island paradise', has shown up on websites and its virtues include a jetty and two jet ski docks.

The property was bought for $1.35 million in 2014 and has been advertised at $1.395 million.

It's held through company Jaja Holdings, in which the sole director is Tony's partner, Alicia Atkinson.

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Jaja owns a second house at the former Couran Point, this one snared for $410,000 in 2011 - or a whopping $285,000 less than was being sought 14 months earlier.

The move to sell one of the Jaja properties comes as there are suggestions that Tony and Alicia are spending quite a bit of time in Port Douglas, which is a fair distance from Canberra where they last month very reluctantly had to front parliament's franchising committee.

Wallabies galore on the island. Picture by Scott Fletcher
Wallabies galore on the island. Picture by Scott Fletcher

Retail Food has been fighting for survival in the wake of reports of stiff fees crippling franchise holders, hence the summons to front the committee.

At the hearing, Tony and Alicia, who 422 times prefaced their answers with the word privilege, told the committee they owned commercial and residential properties together but would not provide details.

That said, Alicia is director of company GJDT Investments which in 2016 paid $5.5 million for a glamorous Tamborine mansion previously owned by VIP Petfoods founders Tony and Christina Quinn.

She's also a director of AEFK Properties, which in 1999 paid $540,000 for a house on a 4074 sqm site in the exclusive Old Dairy Lane estate adjacent to the Royal Pines resort at Ashmore.

Tony's connection to RFG started in 1994 and he led its march on to the ASX in 2006 before stepping down as MD in 2016.

Alicia, 48, was the sole director of a company which managed some of RFG's company-owned stores and which went into liquidation earlier this year owing the taxman $2.7 million.

Tony's been unwinding his large personal holding in RFG over the past 15 months, reaping millions of dollars.

Some of that money might have gone into a rather ironic investment - one that has effectively made he and Alicia landlords to RFG.

At a time when RFG was pushing to raise cash to reduce debt, a company associated with the couple bought an RFG commercial property at Ashmore for $2.075 million at auction.