A high-end chocolate maker is temporarily shutting down a Calgary factory, blaming the economic downturn for slow sales.

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Bernard Callebaut said he is optimistic about the company's future. ((CBC))

Bernard Callebaut said 30 workers in the plant will be off the job as of June 8 for at most seven weeks. The company, which shares his name, will continue to pay the workers benefits.

"In the summer we always close down for maintenance … and this year we are going to extend it. We are going to close down instead of two weeks, we are going to do it about seven weeks, approximately. Simply because it is quiet, compared to last year, which was the top year in business," he said.

Summer is traditionally the slowest season in the chocolate industry, he said.

"I am very optimistic on the future. We still have the customers in the door, but people are a little bit more cautious with their money," Callebaut said.

Bernard Callebaut has stores across Western Canada, in Ontario and in the U.S.