Leicestershire bakery Coombs Hampshires has gone into liquidation, with the reported loss of around 120 jobs. The firm has closed all its 18 shops, and its Rushey Mead factory, while the liquidation is being handled by insolvency practitioners Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP in Sileby, Loughborough.
The Coombs Hampshires business, which went into voluntary creditors liquidation on 3 June 2011, was previously bought out of administration in June 2009 by Adam Baxter, who had been running the bakery with his father, Keith, prior to its collapse. The buy-out saved 150 jobs, but six outlets in its then 26-shop estate were earmarked for closure.
According to the company’s Statement of Affairs, submitted to Companies House, the bakery owes over £650,000 to creditors, including £49,227 to preferential creditors for wages and holiday pay.
The list of creditors included a computerised cake design equipment supplier. A spokesperson for the company told British Baker it had received paperwork through to inform it that the Coombs Hampshires was going to be wound up, so it put a call in to the bakery to ask that, as it was a small business, it needed to be paid the money it was owed. However, upon phoning back the next week, as asked, the bakery’s phone lines had been cut, so he said he had just written off the payment as a loss.
Mike Holling, chairman of the National Association of Master Bakers, and head of retail operations at Birds of Derby which has shops in Leicestershire said he was very sad to hear the news, as it was a long-established craft bakery business in the area.
Nobody from Elwell Watchorn & Saxton would comment on the reason behind the liquidation or the current situation with the business.