HONOLULU, HI — On March 1, Love’s Bakery announced that due to coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations and sales impact, the Honolulu-based company will cease operations at the end of the month.
In the notice signed by Daryce Hamamoto, Love’s interim president, the company reported a dramatic decline in sales in 2020 due to the closures of hotels, restaurants and institutions related to COVID-19, as well as difficulties receiving ingredients and replacement parts for aging bakery equipment from mainland suppliers. The bakery reported a delinquency in rent it could not overcome, and Mrs. Hamamoto reported an inability to qualify for a second round of Payment Protection Program (PPP) funding.
Love’s was founded in 1851 when Scottish baker Robert Love arrived in Honolulu and began re-baking inedible bread from sailing ships. The company went on to produce bread and rolls, and would eventually become Hawaii’s most widespread wholesale baking business.
Today, Love’s ships their bread, buns, rolls and cakes by air to Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Hawaii Island. Their baked goods stock grocery stores, military bases, restaurants, schools and hospitals statewide.
In a statement from Love’s Bakery, the bakery management team said: “We have worked diligently to cut expenses, to maintain our market share and to remedy our operational difficulties, however under the current business environment we are no longer able to continue operations. Love’s local management is committed to closing its doors in a responsible manner. We wish to thank all of our employees, suppliers, customers, friends, neighbors and business partners for their loyalty and support.”
According to the Worker Adjustment and Restraining Notice (WARN) submitted by Mrs. Hamamoto to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, on March 31, 2021, all 231 of Love’s employees will be laid off.