HONOLULU (KHON2) — Love’s Bakery, a fixture in Hawaii for nearly 170 years, will cease operations at the end of March due to the losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
From supplying schools, restaurants and stores with fresh-baked goods, to providing factory tours to elementary school students. A Hawaii institution for more than a century is shutting down at the end of the month.
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The closure of Love’s Bakery will also leave 231 workers unemployed. It’s another casualty of the pandemic.
You would think a business that’s been around for nearly 170 years and provides something that’s always in demand can survive the dramatic downturn in the economy. But management says that is not the case.
Loves Bakery sent out a press release saying, “We have worked diligently to cut expenses, to maintain our market share and to remedy our operational difficulties, however under the current business environment we are no longer able to continue operations.”
In a notice sent to the labor department management says COVID has had a major effect on the hospitality and retail business resulting in a “dramatic decline in sales across all our locations.”
COVID also caused “delays in the ingredients and replacement parts of our aging bakery equipment.”
The company adds, “We are seriously delinquent in rent and were unable to qualify for the second round of PPP funding.”
Customers were dumbfounded to hear that the bakery that has been around for so long will no longer provide the bread and pastries they had grown to love.
“Oh my goodness, isn’t that, they explored everything?” said customer Charlene Ikeda. “You know, oh boy, what a shame. It’s really a shame. I’m sure a lot of people, when I come here, there’s always cars here. So we should, more and more the local people are getting ripped off.”
“It came as a shock,” said customer Danny Ching. “It’s something we didn’t expect. Love’s has been around the islands since what, 100 some odd years? Everybody knows Love’s so it really is a shock.”
“We all grew up with Love’s,” said customer Patti Ching. “Wow, who else is there to make local style bread and all? It’s so sad to hear this. My goodness.”
Loves also has bakery outlets in Kaneohe, Hilo, Kona, Maui and Kauai. All are closing on March 31, leaving 231 workers out of a job.