Andrew Duncan and Alex Cadwallader, Directors at Leonard Curtis have been appointed joint administrators to cake makers More Food. Chichester-based More Food specialised in the creation and supply of handmade cakes and tray bakes to a wide range of customers, including local bakeries, major retailers, such as Budgens and Waitrose as well as international sandwich shop chains.
Whilst More Food was incorporated in 2003, the business had been trading for over 25 years and began when the founding director, Caron Howe, and a close friend started their own coffee shop business in Chichester, which they named ‘Upstairs Downstairs’, serving homemade cakes, scones and sandwiches. Upstairs Downstairs quickly became popular with locals and visitors alike. The coffee shop’s popularity didn’t go unnoticed, and local wholesalers eventually began to approach them to supply them with baked products.
As demand grew, Caron Howe decided to sell the coffee shop business and concentrate on the wholesale supply of cakes and other confectionery products, incorporating More Food and taking on a leasehold factory premises in Chichester in 2003.
The business traded successfully for a number of years, continuing to grow until it was achieving turnover in excess of £8m per annum. To support the growing business, the directors decided to move to a new, purpose-built, 8,000 square feet factory premises in Chichester.
The costs of the move and the fit out of the new premises were substantial and, combined with recent increases in the price of raw materials following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, placed substantial strain on the business. Despite seeking additional investment, the directors were ultimately unable to save the business, which entered into administration on 1 September 2017. Immediately following the administration, the business and assets of the Company were sold as part of a going concern sale to a third party, Sussex Bakes. The sale will ensure continuity to the Company’s customers and has saved the jobs of 150 staff.
Andrew Duncan, Director at Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group, said: “The sale of the business via a pre-pack ensures the continued employment of all 150 members of staff and means that work at the bakery can continue as it did before under the new ownership of Sussex Bakes.”