Doolittles, the third largest pre-packed sandwich company in Ireland, has gone into liquidation, blaming excessive costs and unsustainable pressure on margins from imported sandwiches.
The Donegal-based company, set up in 2001, grew to supply over 200 outlets including Aldi, petrol forecourts and universities. It closed down last month with the loss of 34 jobs.
Founder and chief executive director Jenni Timony said: "While some success has been achieved in building the brand and generating new business, the high cost of doing business combined with the downward pressure on selling prices has resulted in an unsustainable tightening of margins. Every effort will be made to minimise the impact on employees, suppliers and customers."
According to documents filed at Companies Office, Doolittles owed creditors e586,000 (£527,882). Its profit and loss account showed a loss of e383,000 (£345,015) in 2008 more than double the losses it was running a year earlier. The failure of the company came despite signing a deal in September 2008 worth £300,000 to supply sandwiches for over 600 Aer Arann flights a week. This was predicted to boost turnover to e2.5-e3m (£2.25-£2.7m).
Doolittles supplied 30 different kinds of sandwich, including low fat and low GI products, as well as filled rolls and salads. Fillings were made in-house, with Gallagher’s bakery in Ardara supplying bread and O’Donnell’s bakery in Ballyshannon, supplying rolls and baps. Neither was available for comment.