Jamie Oliver firm slammed after dozens of staff made redundant before Christmas
The celebrity chef's Notting Hill store in London will close its doors on Christmas Eve, with dozens of redundancies
Jamie Oliver’s last cookery shop in Notting Hill has been accused of “ruthless” management after making dozens of staff redundant this Christmas.
Staff at the celebrity chef’s west London store Recipease, which will close its doors on Christmas Eve, are furious about the timing of the job losses.
More than 40 staff will lose their jobs but the company says about half will be employed elsewhere in the business and all staff will be paid until December 31.
"Everyone here feels let down, particularly those like me who have worked a long time for Jamie and put everything into this shop,” one staff member at the store, which contains a cookery school, café and shop, told The Times.
“Christmas is the worst time to lose your job. The management have been ruthless."
Oliver was criticised last year for closing another two Recipease stores in Clapham, southwest London, and Brighton, with staff being told to leave in the middle of a shift.
The company says employees at the Notting Hill store have gone through a "very thorough six-week consultation process".
Staff at Recipease blame Oliver’s brother-in-law Paul Hunt, who took over the day-to-day running of his business last year, for the job losses.
The staff member, who did not want to be named, said: "He has come into the business and made lots of changes and we are the just the latest victims."
The cooking school charges £140 for a 90-minute course on how to cook beef wellington and £75 for a 60-minute course on making "the perfect pud".
The retail section sells a bottle of Capezza Olive oil, made 15 miles from Florence, for £27.95 and a 100g box of Rococo chocolate for £16.99.
A spokesman for Oliver said: "Over the last year, the Jamie Oliver Group has made the decision to focus on core businesses and this has meant streamlining the company in certain areas.
“As part of this effort, the group has decided to close the last Recipease store in Notting Hill. The store will remain open until the end of the year while we do our best to find opportunities elsewhere in the business for employees.
"Whilst the Notting Hill site is not the right premises for us, we do hope to reopen the cookery classes in a more appropriate location.
“The cookery classes remain core to the Jamie Oliver philosophy of empowering people to make educated choices about food and we will update when we have something to announce."