Melton Mowbray pork pie company Chappell’s Fine Foods has gone into liquidation just six months after it was taken over by a new owner with ambitious plans to expand sales.
The factory in Wigston, Leicester, closed suddenly before Christmas, leaving its 12 employees out of work and its customers frantically searching for alternative supplies during the year’s busiest trading period. CBA Insolvency Practitioners has since been appointed as liquidator.
Founded in 1972 by David Chappell, the company was taken over last May by former Rank Hovis and Associated British Foods high-flier Ian Nicholls, who said he planned to double the company’s workforce and more than triple its £750,000 turnover (see British Baker, 5 Jun). David Chappell’s son Phil and granddaughter Lisa continued to work at the factory, which also made savouries and other meat pies.
According to local newspaper reports, several members of staff confronted Nicholls outside the factory at the beginning of January over claims that they were still owed wages.
According to the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, value sales among its members grew by 8% in the past year.