Highlands & Islands

Hebridean Chocolates on Lewis closed down

Chocolate cake
Image caption The chocolate-making business was launched about five years ago

Social enterprise Hebridean Chocolates has closed with the loss of six jobs.

The business, which also had two volunteers working for it, was set up in a former bakery in Stornoway on Lewis in 2009.

The factory and shop are owned by Third Sector Hebrides, a charity that supports voluntary and community projects.

The Scottish government gave a grant of £40,000 to help set up Hebridean Chocolates.

In 2011, it won the start up of the year category at the Social Enterprise Scotland Awards.

Hebridean Chocolates said trading difficulties forced the closure of the business.

A spokesperson said: "Every possible alternative to closure has been explored, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that the trading model is not sustainable and the company cannot continue to accrue the level of losses it has been.

"At this point in the process, our main priority is to support and assist the employees through this difficult time."

Third Sector Hebrides said the decision to close was "very disappointing" and was made following lengthy discussions with Hebridean Chocolates' management.

A spokesperson said: "We join the directors and management of Hebridean Chocolates in saying that supporting the staff is and will remain the main priority."

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