Browne’s Chocolates future hangs in balance

By Anne Bruce

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bankruptcy

Browne’s Chocolates future hangs in balance
The future of Harrods chocolate supplier Browne’s Chocolates hangs in the balance as insolvency practitioner Neville & Co examines its books.

Plymouth-based Neville & Co refused to comment directly on the case, but a spokesman for the Insolvency Service told that Okehampton firm Browne's – which shut its doors​ last week – has yet to enter either administration or voluntary liquidation.

The spokesman added that Anita Neville at Neville & Co – who is handling the case – will meet with the firm’s directors and creditors on March 17 to look into the company’s affairs and decide its future.

Administration means that parts or all of the company could be saved, whereas voluntary liquidation would see it cease trading altogether.

Registered address

Browne’s has transferred its registered company address to the address of Neville & Co, which sources suggest indicates that administration is the most likely outcome.

One local source said: “There had been rumours locally for some time that the company was in trouble. In fact I heard it had closed the week before it happened, it was a false alarm that time round.”

Browne’s employed around 30 people and supplied retailers including Harrods and with premium chocolates such as truffles.

Further blows to Okehampton

Okehampton has also been rocked by two further site closures in recent weeks, with Robert Wiseman moving production from its site in the Devon town to Bridgwater, Somerset.

And the former PoleStar Foods’ site, which employed 232 people and used to manufacture cheesecakes, is currently lying idle.

Leeds firm Country Style Foods obtained the plant, machinery and freehold from administrators via a newly formed company Devonshire Desserts.

Chamber of Commerce chairman Ian Bailey told “I am given to believe that the site is due to open again fairly shortly. The new owners have to renegotiate all the contracts before re-opening.”

Related topics Ambient foods Confectionery

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