A Northamptonshire bakery with roots stretching back 100 years has stopped production at its main bakery today and all its shops are shut, including in Kettering.
Last year, Northampton’s long-running bread and cake maker Oliver Adams let go 62 staff after it emerged the firm was losing money “hand over fist” and had racked up nearly £1.7m worth of debts.
But it seems the firm has not been able to recover.
Remaining staff – believed to be at least 100 or so – have been called into a meeting at its Gladstone Road headquarters at 10am this morning where redundancies will be discussed.
It is not known whether the company will continue, but a sign on the Wellingboroough Road outlet said: “Effective immediately this shop is closed until further notice.
“No person should enter this premises without express written consent from either Oliver Adams LTD or BRI.”
BRI is an insolvency practitioner based in St James, Northampton.
The manager of the store in Hawthorn Road Kettering, Vicky Fraser, said she turned up to work today to find a sign on the gate saying the shop is closed until further notice and that nobody should try to enter.
She said: “I turned up this morning and it was closed off.
“We were then told that a new liquidator called RE10 Ltd has been brought in with immediate effect, which means that will now be six weeks without pay.
“We’ve been told to apply to the Government for redundancy.
“There’s five of us here and it’s a great loss to the community.
“We have been treated absolutely disgustingly and it’s appalling.”
Production at its Gladstone Road head office has ceased today, eight staff members say, though employees are unsure whether they will receive this month’s pay.
One man, whose wife works in the main bakery, said he was saddened by the news - particularly as staff were given no prior notice.
He said: “It’s terrible isn’t it? Shocking in fact.
“I know when I was made redundant I had advanced notice, but to be told with just one day’s notice is scandalous.”
Last year, Oliver Adams entered into a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to pay off all the creditors it owed money to.
The biggest bill was in unpaid taxes to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – £315,000 – but other large sums were owed to private firms.
Local companies included Farmhouse Meats in Gladstone Road, situated less than a mile away from the Oliver Adams main bakery.
Leaked papers showed the firm owed Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, where it used to have a cafe, £9,000.
Northampton Borough Council, South Northants Council and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council also featured among the creditors.
Directors of Oliver Adams Mark Jarvis and Martin Denness also claimed to be owed sizeable sums.
Mr Jarvis said he was owed £333,333 and Mr Deness £166,667.
The company is believed to have a net worth of £1.44m.