The fire alarm went off shortly after 11pm on Sunday 26th June 2016. The emergency service response was rapid, but by the time they arrived the fire had already taken hold. The result was complete devastation.
The scaffold tower in the photo of the fire, was used by the intruders to break in. They entered the upper floor office. Why they set fire to the building is a mystery, as is their identity. The police investigation concluded the cause was arson but the perpetrators are still at large.
It was a terrible time. Our business and the Revel Bakery were destroyed. We unfortunately had to let a lot of the staff go.
For two days we remained closed, but it was June and the strawberries were ready. If we did not to re-open the crop would go to waste. A marquee was hastily erected outside the burnt out husk. We started a market stall selling fruit and veg. We were extremely touched and grateful for the continued support of our loyal customers. It helped us through a very difficult time.
By the end of the summer we had managed to set up a temporary shop in the remaining barn at the bottom of the car park.
Jan Kendrick, the only member of the coffee shop team, we were able to keep on, was installed in a temporary kitchen and charged with making sausage rolls and quiches to sell from the deli.
Shortly afterwards we had some good news, the Revel Bakery had managed to relocate to nearby Little Walton and were back up and baking.
By the pumpkin season we had added a marquee and a proper till system. With these measures in place we were able to start planning the rebuild.