A bankruptcy filing by Sucré, the defunct New Orleans sweets vendor, shed some light on the reason for the company's sudden demise in June after a dozen years of operation.

The company's Chapter 7 filing, which is a voluntary winding down of the business by its owners, shows that the company's sales in the last few years had plateaued while expenses kept rising.

The company, which was founded by New Orleans chef and food entrepreneur Joel Dondis together with pastry chef Tariq Hanna in 2007, seemed to have reached its peak in 2015 when sales of its macaroons, gelato and other high-end treats reached $5.8 million, having grown more than two-thirds over the three previous years, according to Inc. magazine.

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The publication, which celebrates entrepreneurial success, named Sucré as one of the 10 fastest-growing businesses in New Orleans that year.

Dondis quit his management role in 2016 and Hanna, who was long the public face of the company, left Sucre last summer under what was later revealed to be a cloud of sexual harassment accusations.

The company is privately owned and doesn't routinely make its finances public, but Wednesday's bankruptcy filing shows that sales topped $6.1 million in 2017, then fell to $5.9 million the following year. In the first six months of this year, sales were a little over $3 million.

The filing also shows what was happening with expenses over that period, which saw expansion into new areas, like a full-service restaurant at its French Quarter location. The filing lists bill payments last year of nearly $4.2 million, though that is an incomplete picture that doesn't include major items like payroll for more than 100 employees.

The list of bills paid this year up to mid-June, when Sucré shuttered its three shops on Magazine and Conti Streets, and in the Lakeside Shopping Center, as well as the factory on Euphrosine Street, had totaled just over $2 million.

A crucial factor leading up to the shutdown was the expansion of Sucré's wholesale business, which led to a lower overall sales number even while operating expenses kept rising, especially big bills to delivery companies, according to insiders.

The filing lists just over $2.1 million in assets, with liabilities of just over $1.6 million, though it is not clear if every creditor will be paid all they are owed.

There are several large secured creditors, including the company that financed Sucré's RAM Promaster delivery van. Hancock Whitney Bank and the Small Business Administration have their debts of around $315,000 and $700,000, respectively, secured on Sucré's assets.

The main asset the company has is the value of its leasehold interest in the shops and factory, with the rest mainly made up of its inventory and equipment. It's not clear whether the assets will bring in the value that is listed in the filing.

There are about 200 unsecured creditors, including local suppliers of cooking equipment, a Baton Rouge dairy farm, several law firms and UPS.

Among the creditors are several companies owned by Joel Dondis, as well as Swiss Chalet Fine Foods, a company founded by Sucré CEO Hans Baumann and his wife Claire.

Dondis, who retained a shareholding of "more than 10%", formally resigned his board position in May of this year.

The filing says that John Bertuzzi, a former Goldman Sachs oil trader who now runs a renewable energy company, owned just over 43% of the company; Cindy Pazos, owner of a diabetes management firm, owned a little over 7%; and Baumann, 1.18%.

None of the company's officials or the lawyer handling the liquidation of the company were available to comment.

Staff Writer Ian McNulty contributed to this article.

The online version of the story has been updated to include more information.

Email Anthony McAuley tmcauley@theadvocate.com.