Baxters Food Group, the UK-based soups-to-condiments maker, plans to close its visitor centre, restaurant and retail outlet in Edinburgh, Scotland, as the pandemic curtails foot traffic across the hospitality sector.

The Highland Village centre is located in the same village as Baxter’s headquarters in Fochabers, Moray, in north-east Scotland. The site employs around 30 people, according to a report by the BBC, all of whom face the prospect of losing their jobs.

Those numbers were not confirmed by Baxters, which provided a statement to just-food via a spokesperson: “We are currently in a consultation process with employees at our Highland Village restaurant and retail outlet in Fochabers regarding the potential closure of the site. Like many hospitality and retail businesses, the pandemic has exacerbated the already challenging trading conditions, meaning the future of the Highland Village is untenable,” the statement read.

Privately-owned Baxters also produces chutneys, jams and relishes, and is the owner of the Fray Bentos tinned pies brand and the Simply Delicious line of mayonnaise. 

While Baxters plans to close the centre, the company has been active on the acquisition front of late. In December, it acquired Truitt Bros, a US-based contract manufacturer of shelf-stable, thermally-processed foods as part of its US growth strategy.

And during the summer, Baxters bought Orexis Fresh Foods in London, described as a “fresh-food manufacturer specialising in chilled, ready-to-eat products”.