FAMOUS patissier and chocolatier Slattery is urging customers to place its orders well in advance as it deals with staff shortages and stock issues.

Changes in imports caused by the UK leaving the European Union, the impact of Suez Canal blockage ­—when a container ship was wedged in the busy shipping lane ­— as well as the impact of lockdown on hospitality staff are being blamed for the issues.

Following the lifting of restriction, Slattery, along with other similar businesses, saw an upsurge in demand for celebration cakes as people starting marking birthdays and other occasions and with weddings resuming.

The Whitefield cakemaker told its customers this week that its order book for September is 'filling up fast' and that it may' close the order books prior to this and at short notice'.

The company has called for more patience and asked customers for a minimum of two weeks’ notice for celebration cake orders.

Slattery’s has suffered due to a number of import issues and tariffs on cake decorations and cardboard shortages across the UK.

John Slattery, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Slattery’s, said: “We need more time to plan ahead what people need, because we are always trying to accommodate people and their demands in the best way we can.

“At the moment, we are struggling slightly, and need the help of the public so we can help them get what they want, and as long as people do that, we will be fine.

“Having said that, we are in a lovely position compared to where we were last year when we were really struggling.

"But now are very busy and we are grateful for that.

He went on: “We were in dire straits during lockdown and had to be very flexible and change the business around a lot, creating lockdown boxes and sharing platters for people who were stuck at home.

“It is a great relief for us to be where we are, we are responsible for a lot of people - not just customers, but our employees - and it’s a big commitment.

“I’m glad we have such a demand, but it means that we must ask people for more notice so we can carry on giving them exactly what they want.”