Since a viral TikTok post in 2021 sent sales of its mochi ice cream balls stratospheric, Little Moons has not looked back. But the surprise departure of highly respected CEO Mike Hedges, and the proposed closure of two factories with the potential loss of hundreds of jobs, surely signals its first major wobble.

Little Moons insists the split is amicable. But after only two years in the job, the change will raise eyebrows, especially as Hedges won’t now be eligible for any future big payday when Little Moons is inevitably swallowed by a global CPG player for a huge price.

Head of international Thomas Bayel – who joined at the same time as Hedges with the L Catterton investment – is also leaving. And again that’s surprising as he was the architect of its stunning (and Grocer Gold Award-winning) export growth.

If headhunting replacements for these two senior positions wasn’t a big enough challenge, Little Moons has also started a consultation process with at least 250 employees on the manufacturing side as it weighs up shuttering the two London factories ahead of an imminent move to a new all-singing, all-dancing site in Kettering.

It’s no surprise the old Wembley plant might close. But the 30,000 sq ft facility in Park Royal was only opened in 2020. On the one hand, that was before demand skyrocketed, so maybe it wasn’t built to cope with the growth it’s since experienced. On the other hand, it points to consolidation, and to the fact that Little Moons is not just going through growing pains but is as susceptible to the cost of living crisis as any challenger brand (or major supplier, for that matter).

Of course, there’s still plenty of growth to go after, especially in terms of exports, but this looks like a back down to earth moment for the founders and for the senior team of experienced but entrepreneurially minded leaders that Hedges had hand-picked to deliver it. But it’s even more unsettling for the 250-plus staff on the manufacturing side. One would imagine they’ll be offered the chance to move to the Kettering site, but for how many is such a move viable?