Things just won’t be the same without these loaves of love.
After 170 years of business in Hawaii, Love’s Bakery will shut down due to the devastating impact of COVID-19. The Aloha State mainstay will cease operations at the end of March, following a difficult made year for restaurants and retail by strict government regulations and dwindling demand.
Though the bakery announced the news earlier this month, fans have continued to mourn the impending closure in recent days.
“Hard to imagine Hawaii without Love’s Bakery,” one wrote on Twitter.
“Arrest the governor,” another joked.
When the Honolulu bakery officially closes on March 31, its staff of 231 will be unemployed, a loss for the local community and an alarming sign of the times, KHON2 reports.
“It just illustrates the dire impact COVID-19 has had on many of our businesses,” Sherry Menor-McNamara, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, told the outlet. “If nothing is done to address economic challenges then we will unfortunately probably see more businesses shut their doors permanently.”
In its Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letter and Hawaii Dislocated Workers Act note, the bakery said it was delinquent in rent and unable to qualify for the second round of PPP loans to stay afloat.
“COVID-19 has also impacted many of our mainland suppliers causing delays in the ingredients and replacement parts for our aging bakery equipment,” management wrote. “With the decline in revenue and the increasing expenses to keep a bakery running, we have made the difficult decision to cease operations as a faltering business.”
According to company history, Love’s Bakery long supplied supermarkets, schools, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and military bases with fresh bread; KHON2 reports that its absence will leave “a hole in the heart” of the island community. Moving forward, Menor-McNamara voiced hopes that lawmakers will expand PPP criteria to potentially save such small businesses, amid an uncertain future.
Love’s Bakery did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News, but said in a statement shared with SF Gate that the local management remains “committed to closing its doors in a responsible manner.”
“We wish to thank all of our employees, suppliers, customers, friends, neighbors, and business partners for their loyalty and support,” the bakery said.
Love’s Bakery was established by Scottish immigrant Robert Love in Honolulu in 1851, and air shipped its products to Maui, Kauai, Molokai, and the Big Island.