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Baltimore area Kirchmayr closing amid coronavirus uncertainty; Chocolatier hopes to reopen in fall

Some of the candy sold by Kirchmayr, the Timonium-based chocolatier set to close after the Easter holiday.
Some of the candy sold by Kirchmayr, the Timonium-based chocolatier set to close after the Easter holiday.(/ Baltimore Sun)

On Tuesday morning, Albert Kirchmayr was scrambling to fill what could be some of his last ever orders for chocolate Easter bunnies.

“Now all hell breaks loose because they realize, ‘This is it,’” Kirchmayr said. “Everybody’s frantic and in disbelief.”

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The 64-year-old Bavaria native announced on Facebook last month that he would close his Timonium shop after Easter following more than three decades in business.

The reason: the coronavirus, and all the economic uncertainty that global pandemic has wrought on businesses large and small.

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“We went through the whole thing in 2008; this is not something I want to do again, especially not knowing how long it's going to be,” he said.

Across the state, country and even the world, Covid-19 has shuttered nonessential businesses and forced people indoors in the name of social distancing and efforts to slow the spread of the disease.

In Timonium, the chocolatier depends on a high volume of Christmas sales to get through the year, including a large number of orders to finance companies. He’s already predicting a drastic drop in those orders. “My projections are that it will be way down, and that is usually what we really need.”

Given the uncertainty, Kirchmayr said, he was unwilling to renew the lease on his building on the 9000 block of Deereco Road, where the business relocated in 2000 from its previous spot on North Charles Street.

His sweets were first sold at candy shops and served as favors “at the fanciest of country clubs," according to a 1989 profile in The Baltimore Sun.

Kirchmayr said the business could potentially reopen in the fall at a new location. “That’s the plan so far. We don't know what is going to come out of this”

Prior to the crisis, Kirchmayr said his business, with a core staff of three, was “very solid.” He offers healthcare and profit sharing to employees, who now face layoffs.

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