Bitter news for chocolate fans

Grafton Darrell Lea Chocolates and Gifts' Colin Bagnell co-owns the store with his wife Frances.
Grafton Darrell Lea Chocolates and Gifts' Colin Bagnell co-owns the store with his wife Frances. JoJo Newby

THE owners of Grafton's Darrell Lea confectionery shop face an uncertain future after the company went into voluntary administration on Tuesday.

The store, which was purchased by husband and wife Colin and Frances Bagnell in December last year, has operated in Grafton for 25 years.

Mr Bagnell said he was uncertain about the future of both the company and his store but vowed to source an alternate supplier if Darrell Lea's production arm was to cease operation.

"We are hoping the Darrell Lea name stays," Mr Bagnell said.

Mr and Mrs Bagnell operate the store under a licensee contract with Darrell Lea.

Mr Bagnell said both employees and customers would be greatly affected if the company was to stop production.

"It is something that is going to affect a lot of people," he said.

"We have to be very optimistic."

Mr Bagnell said ordering for the Christmas period was difficult until certainty was reached about the company's future.

"We deliberately held back on some of our orders," he said.

Mr Bagnell said the store would remain open until further instruction from the administrators, PPB Advisory.

"All we have been told is to do our ordering and continue business as usual," he said.

Topics:  business chocolate darrell lea voluntary administration

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