Melbourne-based luxury chocolate maker, Koko Black, went into voluntary administration this week. However, it will continue trading as normal as the Christmas period approaches.

Founder Shane Hills opened the first Koko Black store in Melbourne in 2003, and the business has since grown to have 14 locations around Australia.

Koko Black employs approximately 300 people across its retail stores and manufacturing facility in Coburg.

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In a statement on Wednesday, Deloitte Restructuring Services partner and joint voluntary administrator, Salvatore Algeri, said:

“The business expanded very rapidly and undertook a series of major projects over the past 18 months. In combination, the level of activity was beyond the resources of the business.”

“Christmas is historically the strongest trading period of the year and we urge everyone to support the business during this time,” he said.

A first meeting of creditors will take place on November 19.

As well as making and selling high-quality, hand-made chocolates, Koko Black operates as a chocolate-focused cafe that offers baked goods, sweet degustation and high teas. It has seven locations in Melbourne: Carlton, Chadstone Shopping Centre, Collins Street, Doncaster Shopping Centre, Highpoint, Queen Victoria Market and Royal Arcade.