A company running educational and entertaining classes for babies and toddlers in Hampshire will be closing its doors after 25 years.
Maraca Jacks Music Workshops has announced that it will be shutting down next month due to a ‘noticeable decline’ in customers.
With six members of staff set to lose their jobs.
Maraca Jacks will close after classes on Friday, December 14.
Since being founded in 1994, the company has run classes in locations across Hampshire including Hedge End, Whiteley and Southampton.
The shock news of Maraca Jacks closure was announced in a video released on Friday (November 2).
Owner Caroline Payne said: ‘Maraca Jacks has had the pleasure of entertaining and educating thousands of babies and toddlers for 25 years.
‘We are extremely proud of the journey and story that has played out here in the local community, with family supporting our small business.
‘Our unique and original music plan with its beginnings in 1994 has remained with many additional songs added throughout the years as we have continued to grow.
‘We have made the difficult decision to make the next seven weeks our last with classes closing at the end of Christmas week – which will be Monday, December 10 to Friday, December 14.’
A 'decline in customers' and an increase in competition has been blamed for Maraca Jacks closure.
She explained: ‘We just need to say that this isn't a decision we made lightly and it comes after many discussions with my family and staff.
‘There has been a noticeable decline in customers over the last year.
‘We listened to your needs and implemented your requests such as pay-as-you-go, loyalty schemes, new ways to pay including PayPal and credit/ debit cards.
‘But we’ve come to the conclusion that the choices and diversity of groups now available compared to just a few years ago is to great for Maraca Jacks.'
‘We do however want you to join us for the next seven weeks.
‘I have a huge thank you to say to each and everyone of my family and staff as without their support we simply couldn’t have run many events over the years.
‘A big thank you to my staff for delivering my ideas and sometimes crazy vision.
‘They were chosen for their commitment and passion for working with children and I have great pride in calling each and every one of them my friends.
‘And finally to you our customers who have been loyally attending and supporting us.
‘You have not just been coming along each week and enjoying our amazing sessions, you have financially kept our small business running which means in turn 10 local staff have supported their families.’
While Maraca Jacks will be closing, Disco Jack parties for birthdays, school discos, pre-schools and end of term parties will be continuing in 2019.
As will the after-school club at Berrywood Primary School in Hedge End.
Do you have fond memories of Maraca Jacks? Why not share them in the comments below.