Bailiffs have been called into the head office of a bakery firm, the landlord has told the Observer.
Fears were raised over the future of Earl’s Bakery after two of the chain’s three shops failed to open this morning (July 12).
The two Bexhill branches of Earl’s Bakery were found locked up and the shelves were bare when customers tried to pick up regular orders.
One customer contacted the Observer this morning to say he had tried to pick up some items from the branch in Western Road, only to discover the building locked up, with not a cake or loaf in sight.
The bakery in Ninfield Road in Sidley, where the firm’s head office is based, also looked deserted this morning.
Stuart Earl, the landlord of the Ninfield Road site, confirmed to the Observer that bailiffs attended the property on Monday (July 10).
Mr Earl’s family founded the popular business in 1921 but it was sold in 2012.
Speaking about the firm’s head office and Sidley branch, Mr Earl told the Observer: “I believe it has been shut by the bailiffs.
“I was there on Monday when they arrived and I saw the people who own it and I think they were pretty desperate, but I could not do anything to help them.
“The next day (Tuesday) they were trading and I heard last night they were moving stuff out of Sidley and that was the last I heard.”
Mr Earl expressed his dismay at the situation.
He said “I do not know if I could put into words how I feel, with all the hard work put into it by three generations of my family.
“When I left it was a thriving business and now it’s disappeared.”
He added: “It’s not just the staff that have been let down, but the customers.”
The Earl’s Bakery in Old London Road in Ore was stocked and appeared to be serving customers as normal this morning.
The Observer has contacted the current owner of Earl’s Bakery for comment.
In February bailiffs were called into the Little Common branch of Earl’s Bakery in Bixlea Parade.
At the time, Andrew Krawczyk, a spokesperson for Earl’s Bakery (Bexhill) Ltd, told the Observer that the branch had been hit by wider issues facing businesses in the Little Common area.
Speaking in February, he said: “Each year the shop in Little Common was less and less profitable – I am sure you are aware that green grocers in Little Common shut down their shop for the same reason – and we had to keep adding from our pocket to keep this shop open.”