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Koffee Kup employee payouts delayed

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2021 at 6:14 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Former employees of Koffee Kup Bakery and Vermont Bread Company will have to wait longer for back pay and other benefits they were promised when the defunct company was purchased earlier this summer.

Businesses that are still owed money by the company filed a new involuntary bankruptcy claim Monday, bringing pay-out plans to employees to a grinding halt, according to Linda Joy Sullivan, the receiver charged with dissolving the company’s remaining assets.

Hundreds of Koffee Kup and Vermont Bread Company employees lost their jobs back in April due to mounting financial problems. In June, Georgia-based Flowers Foods announced that it was buying the well-known brands and would be paying employees the back pay owed to them. The sale has been working its way through the courts as a variety of different parties work to satisfy all the debt. Sullivan said that the recent involuntary bankruptcy filing has put everything on hold, including the checks to employees.

That’s not sitting well with families who are owed thousands of dollars. “We are not going to let them run with our money and take our money. Those employees have earned every cent of that money. They worked hard in hot conditions in that building -- these employees -- six, seven days a week. Some of them had 12-hour shifts. I mean, they worked very hard,” said Angela Heath, who says her husband is owed roughly $6,400. She says her family is doing okay financially but she worries for all the other employees who may have been living from paycheck to paycheck.

Koffee Kup filed and was awarded a PPP loan in April of 2020. Those loans are meant to help keep employees on the payroll. Koffee Kup was given $2.5 million.

Those involved in the sale are encouraging all employees to be patient as the bankruptcy claim is addressed in the courts. As for the future of the business, Flowers Foods has not announced any immediate plans to reopen either of the bakeries in Vermont.

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