Sudden closure sparks speculation

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Popular Arbroath venue Sugar and Spice has remained closed after shutting its doors at close of business on Tuesday, March 22.

A check on Facebook revealed the following: “It is with regret that due to unforeseen circumstances, Sugar and Spice shall be closed until further notice.”

On Thursday (March 24) morning the Herald received an anonymous tip off from a member of staff, who said: “We just got a phone call out of the blue ‘that’s you lost your jobs’.”

At 10.30am that same morning, staff gathered outside the shop to collect belongings and were shocked and angry at the situation. They believed they were being replaced.

They were not keen to be pictured or have their names taken but one said: “We got a call on Tuesday evening to just say the place was closing. We’d been at work that day and there was no warning at all.”

Another staff member added: “Basically, we had no warning at all, nobody told us anything, surely we have rights about our notice?”

When contacted, owner Gillian Baker completely refuted the suggestion that staff were being replaced and reinforced the Facebook message that it was a temporary closure, stating that staff were still being paid.

Asked about staff being replaced, she said: “It’s completely fabricated.” She also added: “Sugar & Spice is not going out of Arbroath.”

We also spoke to company secretary Beverley Carter who explained that Easter Weekend was one of their busiest trading periods and that the decision to close was made due to unforeseen circumstances. She said: “The owner has made that hard decision at great cost to the business. All seasonal and perishable items from Sugar & Spice are being donated.”

Social media speculation has been rife since the doors closed and when we tried to make contact this week for an update on the situation we were sent to an English-based PR company who told us: “There will be no comment on this or anything else relating to Gillian’s affairs, now or at any time in the future.”