72 jobs lost as Chorley catering firm goes into administration

Administrators have been appointed at Cookeze Limited, the Lancashire-based event catering firm partly owned by acclaimed chef Nigel Smith.

Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 10:04 am
Nigel Smith

Dean Watson of the Manchester office of Begbies Traynor and Neil Dingley of Moore in Stoke were appointed Joint Administrators of Cookeze Limited on March 24, after the company ceased trading.

A total of 72 employees have been made redundant.

The company's failure has been attributed to the coronavirus pandemic which has led to widespread closures and cancellation of major sporting events.

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Dean Watson of Begbies Traynor

The administrators are seeking interested parties who may be attracted by recent major investment in state-of-the-art commercial kitchen space at its 48,000 sg ft headquarters in Chorley.

The firm, which traded as Patisserie by Nigel Smith, specialised in ‘artisan patisserie’ and was founded in 2010 by Nigel, a chef who has appeared on several cookery TV shows.

Flagship products included cakes, desserts, gateaux’s and scones.

Clients of the company included Manchester United, Liverpool FC, Jockey Club Brasserie Blanc and Malmaison Hotels.

Nigel Smith

Turnover last year was £1.5m.

Dean Watson, partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “COVID-19 has seen the sports-related events where the company excelled cancelled.

"The immediate cashflow challenge this presented as well as recent significant investment in a high specification modern office complex and commercial kitchen equipment has taken its toll.

“We are in the process of updating staff and providing information on how to claim for their entitlements and advising creditors of the position.

2In the meantime, we are looking for interested parties who may be strongly attracted by the fact it was, until very recently, a successful business with blue chip clients, talented staff and outstanding facilities.

“Sadly, this crisis will continue to severely impact many other similar events-based businesses who are not geared up to weather the storm over the summer of 2020.”

Nigel has worked with many top chefs, including Paul Heathcote, and his restaurant at The Villa at Wrea Green won many accolades.