Leeds-based dealer Hopkins Catering Equipment is now in the hands of administrators after being forced to close its doors yesterday.
Local restructuring and advisory service Geoffrey Martin & Co will be handling the business’s closure process.
MD Victoria Hopkins told Catering Insight: “This situation came about because of a multitude of reasons. The trading environment has not been great, especially in the fish and chip sector.
“Thanks to the harsh winter and hot summer, potato crops have been affected and costs have risen for fish and chip outlets, most of which are small, lifestyle businesses. Therefore they have been reluctant to place orders for equipment.
“The online trade is also very competitive, with small margins. We did have a healthy orderbook but unfortunately we hit a cash flow wall.”
Hopkins detailed that she tried to put the family business up for sale as a going concern, but could not find a buyer.
“We would have had to make lots of staff redundant to continue, and the redundancy costs were high, so we had to make the very difficult decision to close.”
Describing both the family business owners and its staff as “heartbroken”, she said that Hopkins Catering Equipment would not be going down a pre-pack administration route or re-appearing in another guise.
“This started as my grandad’s company, it’s a true family business and we are all devastated,” she added.
The insolvency practitioners will now be managing the creditor situation, including debts owed to any suppliers and manufacturers in the catering equipment industry.