THE owner of a local multi-award-winning producer has confirmed the closure of his retail shops due to the disappearance of his wife.

Lakeland Artisan, the artisan food and drink company run by husband and wife Geoff and Mary Monkman, announced the closure on Boxing Day.

Mr Monkman said it was with a 'very sad heart' that he was closing all the Lakeland Artisan shops in Cumbria on New Year's Eve with the shop in Lancaster already being shut down.

49-year-old Mrs Monkman travelled to the Loch Doon area of Ayrshire on June 16 from her home in Kendal. 

Her red Nissan Juke was found parked on the west side of the loch shortly after 7.30pm later that evening. She has not been heard from since. 

The Westmorland Gazette: Geoff and Mary Monkman outside Lakeland Hampers in Kendal.Geoff and Mary Monkman outside Lakeland Hampers in Kendal. (Image: Submitted)

"This is as a result of the disappearance of my wife earlier this year and she has not been seen or heard from since," said the shop owner. 

"We built the shops together and it's just not the same without her by my side. She is deeply missed by us all, she was my rock and my everything, there is just too much for me to cope with and keep juggling."

Mr Monkman said he was returning to what he did at the beginning of the business and continuing to be a manufacturer and supplier, as well as continuing to make its ranges of multi-award winning preserves, sauces, soft drinks, liqueurs and distilling their own yan gin from their production unit located in Kendal.

All the websites will remain the same and people can still purchase items from there or from the many stockists in the area.

"I'd like to say a big thank you to all our loyal staff and customers who have stayed with me to the very end. It is really appreciated and good luck to all of our staff in the future," said Mr Monkman.

The shops in Kendal, Bowness, Carlisle, Keswick and Lancaster showcased Lakeland Artisan's range of handcrafted products alongside local handmade produce.

They are now holding a closing down sale with 25% off everything with the discount applied to shops only.