A popular north-east cafe and farm shop has permanently closed.
Formartine’s, near Tarves, confirmed the news on social media this afternoon
In a statement, bosses thanked customers for their support over the past nine years.
The closure comes due to a combination of challenges including Covid, Brexit and the oil downturn.
Flooding in late February also caused significant damage to the site.
Hundreds of customers reacted to the news, with one saying “we will miss coming to see you” and another adding “the food and staff were always excellent”.
One commenter said: “Formartines was a local institution, providing so much more than a coffee and a scone. A visit was always good for the soul.”
Another added: “It was a wonderful place and that’s down to you and all you put into it. I know you will go on to do more wonderful things in the future.”
A “heartbroken” customer wrote: “Formartines to us was more than a coffee shop, it was a place we gravitated to on a regular basis, to meet friends, walk the dog, eat or choose a lovely gift from the shop.”
Statement from bosses
The statement said:”It is with a heavy heart that I write this post to tell you all the sad news that we will not be re-opening and will remain permanently closed.
“We are forever grateful to all of you who loved what we did and supported us for the last nine years, some of you almost weekly, since our doors opened.
“We will miss you and forever appreciate your contribution to making Formartines what it was. All of you – the team, our customers, our suppliers, and the local community – each and every one of you.
“We have fought day and night to find solutions to a growing wave of economic challenges over the last few years, with the oil downturn, shifts in retail, Brexit, and the Covid-19 pandemic. We lost sales revenue of over £1 million in 2020 alone, and in a further twist to the tale our building was badly damaged by flooding in late February, preventing our operations from re-starting.
“Our business model always required a large volume of customers with relatively low-profit margins, and with the current Covid-19 restrictions it is not economically viable for us to continue and service our debts with the cash-flow impacts from the pandemic and with limited prospects for normal trade returning in the near future.
“Good luck and stay safe everyone. We hope to see you all soon, somewhere.”