comscore With Love’s Bakery closure 2 days away, its brand will live on | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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With Love’s Bakery closure 2 days away, its brand will live on

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Love’s Bakery Middle Street outlet as seen on March 1.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Love’s Bakery Middle Street outlet as seen on March 1.

A family-owned bakery business based in Oregon will keep the nearly 170-year-old kamaaina Love’s Bakery brand alive.

Portland-based Franz Family Bakery announced today that it has acquired a license to produce bread and other bakery items under the Love’s name for Hawaii from some of its mainland facilities.

The arrangement will avoid the loss of Love’s products statewide, though the locally owned bakery that suffered financial stress amid the coronavirus pandemic will still shut down on Wednesday triggering the loss of 231 jobs.

“It is always a sad day in our industry when an independent bakery closes, especially one like Love’s that has been such an integral part of life in Hawaii for more than 100 years,” Kimberly Albers-Nisbet, Franz president and director of sales, said in a statement.

Franz is a fourth-generation, family-owned business founded in 1906. The company operates bakeries in seven states.

Financial terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

Hawaii Foodservice Alliance will distribute Love’s products for Franz.

“The Love’s brand has a proud and distinguished history in Hawaii and Franz Family Bakery is honored to be given this opportunity to help carry the Love’s tradition forward through this licensing agreement,” Albers-Nisbet said.

Love’s announced its closing plans March 1, saying that it had lost more than 20% of its revenue last year when sales from hotels, restaurants and other tourist-dependant outlets dried up.

The company said it was seriously delinquent on rent and couldn’t qualify for a second forgivable federal Paycheck Protection Program loan after receiving what government records show was an initial loan of between $2 million and $5 million in April.

“With the decline in revenue and the increasing expenses to keep the bakery running, we have made the difficult decision to cease operations as a faltering business,” the company said in a layoff notice filed with the state.

Love’s has nearly 1,800 commercial customers through which roughly 400,000 bread loaves are distributed weekly along with other baked goods under various brand names including Love’s, Wonder Bread, Roman Meal, Hostess, Little Debbie and Mrs. Freshly’s.

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