CALGATY — An Edmonton-based food manufacturer says Planet Organic isn’t paying its bills.

Chris Lerohl owns Honest Dumplings, which supplies specialty handmade dumplings to the Calgary-based food chain.

He has unpaid invoices totalling $5,850 for product he shipped to Planet Organic.

While it isn’t a large number, Lerohl says for a fledgling business looking to expand its market, it’s hard to swallow.

“This really hurts. We are a growing business,” he said.

“We’ve had to borrow money off family to keep the lights on, and when you're not getting paid by customers, that hurts.”

Planet Organic told CTV the company is facing some financial challenges but is working out a plan to deal with outstanding bills, including the invoices from Honest Dumplings.

In a statement to CTV News, company CEO Alan Thomson said, “Currently Planet Organic has a debt to Honest Dumplings of $5,850.00 CDN.  We are working on a restructuring plan that would include Honest Dumplings Ltd.  We should be in a position to discuss that plan with them end of next week.”

Lerohl is hopeful he’ll see his close to $6,000 soon, saying the company is in the midst of expanding its market outside of Alberta, and needs the money.

“As a growing business, cash flow is our biggest challenge,” he said.

“$6,000 means a lot. It’s getting difficult and challenging enough to get financing, as a growing business to overcome that, to write that off, would be terrible right now.”

Honest Dumplings could seek to recover the money in small claims court but Lerohl admits $6,000 isn’t really enough to make that worth his while.”

Planet organic has 11 stores across Canada, five of them in Calgary, four in Edmonton, and one each in British Columbia and Ontario.