More than 500 brides have been left – much like their wedding cakes – in tears after a catering company ceased trading.
Fraud investigators are to look into the West Midlands-based Bake A Cake wedding reception organisers after claims the owner Lisa Holt has left her customers out of pocket.
However, Mrs Holt insists she had to close due to an arson and burglary at her home where business documents, photo booths and equipment were stolen.
This is little consolation to Melissa Bentley, of Buxton Drive, Sidley, who had paid around £500 for a chocolate fountain, a photo booth and a candy cart, plus all the food for her wedding in July next year.
“We might not be able to have the wedding now,” the 30-year-old said.
“I feel sorry for the brides who have their wedding in the next couple of weeks, it’s disgusting how someone can do this.”
Miss Bentley and her fiancée Ian Maher, a section manager at Morrisons, have three children and were planning on getting married at All Saints Church with the reception at Centre Stage.
She said Bake A Cake organised her cousin’s wedding beautifully so she thought they could be trusted, but now realises it was too good to be true.
“We’ve paid the deposits so if we start cancelling we will just lose more money, we just don’t know what to do at the moment,” she said.
“It’s really frightening because how do you know someone else won’t do it? So now we’re trying to use local companies.”
On Bake A Cake’s website, Mrs Holt has posted a statement regarding the closure, blaming ‘circumstances beyond our control’.
“It is with great regret and sadness we have to inform all our clients that we have now ceased trading. The pressures of circumstances beyond our control I am no longer able to trade,” it reads.
“I deeply regret that I could not resolve the situation for the outstanding clients. I wish to thank all our loyal customers past. I cannot apologise to you enough how my closure has affected you.
“I realise a lot of you require answers and refunds and I am trying my best to resolve this situation.
Action Fraud – a government agency which collates fraud claims from the public – has been made aware of the situation.
“Action Fraud can confirm that it has recently received a report about Bake A Cake, this has been sent to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to assess,” an agency spokesman said.
West Midlands Police have confirmed a break-in was reported on July 19 at the Holts’ address as was an arson attack on August 12.