Source: Peter Trimming / J.C.Rook & Sons, Tunbridge Wells

Source: Peter Trimming / J.C.Rook & Sons, Tunbridge Wells

Butchers chain JC Rook and Sons has ceased trading after the Omicron surge at the end of 2021 hampered the peak Christmas period.

The family-owned butcher traded from 11 retail stores across Kent, as well as operating a Food Standards Agency-approved production and distribution facility in Ramsgate and a foodservice facility in Shoreham.

The company suffered trading losses in the wake of pandemic restrictions, which were worsened by the emergence of the Omicron variant, further deteriorating trading conditions.

Following legal advice, the directors made the decision to close all 11 stores before the appointment of Interpath Advisory as joint administrators on 14 March 2022.

Operations at the production facility in Ramsgate also ceased.

It resulted in the majority of the company’s 155 employees being made redundant, with Interpath retaining a small number to assist with the administration process.

“JC Rook and Sons was a well-established and well-respected family business that had been operating across Kent for over 50 years,” said Interpath MD and joint administrator Neil Gostelow.

“Sadly, the impact of the pandemic on trading meant that the directors had to take the difficult decision to place the company into administration. Our immediate priority is to assist those members of staff who have been made redundant, providing them with the information they need to be able to make claims from the Redundancy Payments Office.