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Former Scratch Kitchen employees waiting for remainder of wages after abrupt closure

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Posted at 9:20 PM, Aug 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-13 18:24:56-05

UPDATE | Nov. 13 — The Boulder Police Department told Denver7 that after several weeks of investigation, which included a review with the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, "the decision was made that there was insufficient evidence to find probable cause to charge anyone with a crime." The department said there was a lack of evidence to find that the business acted willfully in depriving anyone of their wages, as required for a criminal charge.


DENVER— Several former employees of Scratch Kitchen say they are still waiting for their paycheck after the restaurant closed all locations in June.

On June 16, employees received a message from one of the founders just after 4 a.m. stating that the day prior was their last day in operation. The message said the business wasn’t able to make enough money to stay afloat and would have to close.

“I up and I saw the email and say, 'What’s going on?” said one former employee who didn’t want to be identified.

The founder said their final paychecks would be delivered in sections.

“In regard to the pay you are owed through yesterday, you will receive approximately 50 percent today by the end of the day, 30 percent next week and the rest when we are able to pay it," the message said.

However, the former employee told Denver7 she's still waiting on the rest of her money two months after the shutdown.

“For me they still owe the last week we work and the PTO,” she said.

A week after the initial message, former employees received another message from the founder through their Paylocity account, a human resources and payroll provider. The message updated everyone about the money they were still owed.

On July 7, the founder sent another message saying they would have a "more specific update" in the future.

"We're sorry for the continued delay. we have capital on its way to us and will have a more specific update on final payments as those funds come in this month," the message read.

“Everybody's so upset,” said the former employee. “So what am I doing with my rent? What am I doing with my bills? We have kids. I’m a single mom.”

Another former employee contacted Colorado’s Division of Labor Standards and Statistics for help.

“We can confirm that we have received multiple wage complaints against Scratch Kitchen, and they are pending investigation," Director Scott Moss said in a statement. "As with any of our wage investigations, any further details cannot be disclosed while the investigation is pending. The duration of an investigation typically varies from a few to several months based on various factors including the breadth and complexity of claims. After a decision is issued, it will be made public after a short period to review and redact any possible confidential information."

Former employees also filed a report with the Boulder Police Department. Those who filed the report said they were owed $2,500. They also allege Scratch Kitchen hasn't paid its vendors. Boulder PD told Contact Denver7 investigators have re-classified the case as a criminal investigation into wage theft.

Contact Denver7 drove by the Scratch Kitchen location on South Colorado Boulevard in Denver Wednesday. A sign posted on the door says, "Thank you for stopping by Scratch Kitchen. We are temporarily closed as we update some products and experiences. Stay tuned at for updates on when we will be reopening. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you in the very near future."

A notice of eviction was also taped to the door.

Contact Denver7 reached out to both founders of Scratch Kitchen. One never got back to us, and the other said he did not have a comment.

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