THERE is bad news with Wicked Cheesecake announcing that Sunday will be their last day of trading in their Crossgates shop.

The shock post on Facebook that the Main Street store was to close led to hundreds of customers going online to say how much they'll miss the sweet treats.

Soaring costs and a drop in footfall prompted the decision and owner Jason Thirlwall said: "People don't want us to go and it's nice to read those comments but it's not so easy from our side.

"The cost of ingredients has tripled and times are tough, prices are going up all the time and people are scared to spend money. I get that. I can't blame my customers.

"I'm on their side and I'm worried about spending money too.

Dunfermline Press: Wicked Cheesecake are closing their shop on Main Street in Crossgates. Pictured when it opened back in October 2020 are Lisa Galloway (left), with Sam and Jason Thirlwall.Wicked Cheesecake are closing their shop on Main Street in Crossgates. Pictured when it opened back in October 2020 are Lisa Galloway (left), with Sam and Jason Thirlwall. (Image: Jim Payne)

"What was a £40 shop at Tesco is nearly £70, petrol and diesel aren't getting any cheaper, we're getting into winter and gas bills are going to spiral.

"People just don't have that disposable income to spend £5 on a cheesecake, that's the last thing on their mind when they're worried about heating their home, but that's what we're all about."

Jason and his wife Sam started Wicked Cheesecakes as an online business and opened the Main Street shop in October 2020.

On the first day they had to close early after selling more than 1,000 cakes and demand is still there.

They'll keep the Wicked brand going online but he added: "We're absolutely gutted to be closing the shop.

"We've put our hearts into this and it'll be almost three years to the day since we opened.

"Sunday will be our last day of trading and we'll be open from noon to 9pm.

"We managed to get through the Covid pandemic but this economic pandemic is much harder to get through."

He said: "Our cheesecakes are a luxury, they're not cheap but the costs reflect the quality of the ingredients we use.

"I won't compromise on that but the profit margin, which ultimately you rely on to pay your wages and that of your staff, just isn't there any more.

"It's not sustainable to keep operating like that.

"It's tough for everyone right now and I don't think we'll be alone in closing our doors in the next few months."

Jason said: "Together with my wife Sam, Michelle the supervisor and all our young staff, they've worked their socks off and came up with the best ideas.

"We've had a recipe book, done the Royal Highland Show and various other initiatives, so it wasn't an easy decision, especially with Christmas around the corner which is our busiest time.

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"We're going to take a short two week break from selling anything but then we'll be back online to satisfy Christmas orders, celebration cakes and catering events, but not from the retail shop sadly.

"We'll focus on the online portal which will reduce staff costs and rent, it'll help us get back on top of everything. "We can't lose the brand at this stage. It's too big and we've put too much into it."

They've already started diversifying with Fresh by Wicked, a new venture focusing on meal preparation, with dishes such as creamy garlic chicken pasta, Mongolian beef noodles and butter chicken curry and rice.

Jason explained: "People don't always have time to cook so we're doing convenience food, packs of five meals, Monday to Friday, for £25.

"Our cheesecakes are a luxury but people need meals so we started trialling this two-or three weeks ago.

"It's been really successful and we've had some great feedback. You can get them in Costcutters in Crossgates and Kelty and the intention is to do home delivery.

"They're tasty, nutritional, balanced and affordable so we're going to be pushing that quite hard."