Frolicking by the side of a Quebecan lake during an idyllic family reunion in her Canadian homeland, Larah Bross must have been aware that the carefully curated veneer of a successful business woman was about to melt away quicker than Smoked Applewood cheese in one of her lauded bagels.

For 5,000 miles away a letter from His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) was about to drop on the doorstep of the Portobello headquarters of her eponymous sandwich group, with the stark warning that if a £574,132 tax debt was not settled within three weeks Bross Bagels Ltd would be wound up.

The entrepreneur, stand up comedian, and darling of the food sector media – always ready to do anything to promote her hipster brand – would struggle to joke her way out of this crisis, and on her return to Scotland she started putting in place a get-out-of-debtors-jail plan.

For the full story of how rising star Bross Bagels lost its shine and opted for liquidation click here to read The Edinburgh Reporter exclusive in our free September edition.

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Stephen Rafferty is a former crime correspondent at The Scotsman and was a staff reporter for the Daily Record and Edinburgh Evening News. He has freelanced for many of the Scottish and UK national newspaper titles. Got a story? Get in touch -