Koffee Kup Bakery shuts down, lays off more than 200 workers
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont’s Koffee Kup Bakery terminated operations Monday at its Burlington and Bennington plants after the company says it was unable to dig its way out of mounting financial problems.
Koffee Kup Bakery locations abruptly closed their doors on Monday, laying off an estimated 247 employees.
Workers arrived for their shifts in Burlington Monday evening to find a message notifying them of the closure.
“You need to go empty your stuff, get your personal belongings and not report to work anymore,” said Paul Crepeault, who has been a delivery driver for two years.
“This is how we make a living. You’re going to tell us... We were sitting there waiting to fill tomorrow’s delivery and you’re going to tell us you don’t have a job, we don’t know what to tell you,” said Steven Cox, who has also worked as a delivery driver for two years.
The company on Tuesday issued a statement, saying mounting financial problems prompted the closure: “For each of the last four years, Koffee Kup has suffered substantial financial losses and was unable to find a way out of their troubles. Employees, lenders, suppliers and customers all went above and beyond to support Koffee Kup during that time. In the last 6 months, the company was unable to find a new investor/operator who was willing to commit the resources necessary to bring the company back to health.”
Koffee Kup is considered a Vermont institution by some, with a variety of bread and doughnuts that are widely available in grocery stores, restaurants and convenience stores.
Mon Mangar, an overnight baker, showed up at the Burlington Riverside Avenue location on Monday evening to start his shift and was shocked to find no one there.
“I think today it was work, so with that, I come to work. But I cannot see anybody inside and I’m confused and I think, ‘What’s going wrong today?’” Mangar said.
Cox and Crepeault said finding out the way they did was a slap in the face, and they had no idea anything was wrong in the days leading up to the closure.
“It was a good job and all of us at our depot, we all got along great and helped each other out when we all needed help and stuff like that. It was a pretty decent place to work,” they said.
Koffee Kup has been around since 1940 and, according to its website, has expanded its reach of goods through New England down even to Washington, D.C.
The Vermont Labor Department says it will be connecting with the employer and impacted employees to offer support with job loss resources.
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