Southern California

Marie Callender's Set to Close 19 Locations in Southern California

Marie Callender and her husband began selling pies back in the 1930s in Orange County.

After Marie Callender's announced it was filing bankruptcy, the chain announced more than a dozen locations would be closing in Southern California.

Company officials say they have no choice but to file for bankruptcy, closing at least 19 restaurants in Southern California.

All day long Monday, customers had been showing up at a Corona Marie Callender's baffled at why it's not open.

"Really disappointed. My fiancee really loves her pies. We have been coming here for years for pies," Antonio Morales said.

"We always come for the pies -- for mom's birthday -- and it's mom's birthday tomorrow. Now I have to go elsewhere to buy my pies. I'm just devastated," Mariely Rivas said.

Marie Callender and her husband began selling pies back in the 1930s in Orange County.

The company eventually grew into a popular restaurant chain.

But Tuesday, officials announced that they would be filing for bankruptcy so the chain could be sold.

Financial experts estimate that the company owes around a $100 million to its investors.

"It's just heartbreaking that the economy does this to businesses that start off with small families and branch out to big franchises," Rivas said.

At least two locations in the Inland Empire have now closed down, including one in Victorville.

Company officials said 19 underperforming restaurants are part of the closures, but many others will stay open.

"It made me very sad to have this wonderful restaurant closed. Your mistake was not giving those that you employed advanced noticed. That's a cruelty," Linda Laybourne said.

NBCLA tried to speak to employees but they said they were not allowed to talk about the closures.

Customers say pie isn't the only thing they will miss about Marie Callenders. They'll also miss the hospitality.

"Oh very nice, very courteous. The people are always welcoming and we really enjoyed coming. It's unfortunate," Rivas said.

At this point it's still unclear how many employees are being laid off, and if they are getting a severance package.

NBCLA was still awaiting a response on the exact locations that were set to close. 

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