Chocoholics make a run on Darrell Lea

Chocoholics made a run on Darrell Lea stores as news filtered through that the famous brand might have to be sold off.

As loyal customers snapped up Rocklea Road and licorice, staff were left in the dark about a decision to place the company in administration.

"I heard about it from a customer and we're still waiting for information," one staff member told AAP.

Darrell Lea appointed PPB Advisory as voluntary administrators on Tuesday amid fears the company, which started in Sydney 85 years ago, is in deep financial distress.

As about 700 employees began to contemplate their futures, customers flooded into Darrell Lea stores to stock up on their favourite sweets and commiserate about the possible end of an era.

"I can't believe it," long-time customer Heather told AAP.

"It's upsetting because Darrell Lea is an institution.

"I like it much better than European chocolate."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard was also saddened by the news.

"Everybody has probably eaten a lot of their rocky road over the course of their lives, I know I have," Ms Gillard said.

Despite offering a quality product, Darrell Lea had not marketed its brands as well as some supermarket competitors, Sydneysider Luke Buckle said.

"You kind of forget it's there until you walk past," Mr Buckle said.

"It's still very old fashioned, which is probably deliberate, but I wonder whether they're not savvy enough."

Nonetheless, it didn't stop him buying blocks of Rocklea Road for his workmates after hearing the news.

"I only come here a few times a year. It's quite expensive."

Decisions on whether jobs would need to be axed will be made once a review, funded by Darrell Lea's owners, wraps up.

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