"Yes, there's competition there. But we're also one big family," said Nathen Martin, Pizza La Stella's Vice-President of Operations. "There's really just a lot of concern for the (Wahlburgers) team members and for the managers and people that lost their positions and lost their income. And really just wanting to do something for them."
Former Wahlburgers workers told us that they were in the dark about the abrupt shutdown that came just days after Christmas. They said many employee paychecks have bounced multiple times. And they remain in limbo for their final paychecks
"We're just left with pieces of paper that promise us money and yet our money gets bounced," said former employee Luke Anders.
Pizza La Stella, with its two locations and a third opening soon, is getting the word out to those now-out-of-work Wahlburgers staffers -- it's hiring.
"So we're always still looking for talented people to add to our family," Martin said. "We're reaching out to them and saying, 'Hey look, if you need a place, come interview with us, come check us out.' We just really want to kind of take care of them."
There's still been no comment about the closure or the allegations of mismanagement from Carolina Burger Company, the franchise that opened the Fayetteville Street Wahlburgers.
But Wahlburgers Corporate, publicly backed by celebrity brothers Mark Wahlberg and Donnie Wahlberg, told ABC11, "We are truly saddened to hear about negative experiences any employees had working with this independent franchise operator. We take these allegations very seriously ... We are conducting an internal review and will take appropriate action."
Meantime, the struggle is very real for former workers -- one of whom told us Tuesday night that she has no idea how she'll pay her rent which is due this week. A GoFundMe page for emergencies was set up for employees. But donations have been slow
"We all have bills to pay and we all have lives -- we need groceries, gas, so many things," Martin said. "It's definitely a really, really sad situation."