Staff at a new cafe have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the support they have received after it was broken into during its first week of trading.
The Forgetful Cat, a cafe in Keymer Road, Hassocks, opened its doors last Monday and had enjoyed a successful first five days. But the manager opened on Saturday and found £300 and electronic equipment had been stolen.
Owner Sophie Boulderstone, 35, said “It was a horrible shock to find our new business had been broken into but the overwhelming support and encouragement has made us feel like part of the community and that is worth so much more than the financial loss.
“Luckily we had done banking that day otherwise they could have taken our entire week’s takings. We know now not to leave any money here at all.
“We’ve sort of come away feeling like more a part of the community. It’s a terrible thing but the outcome has been so nice.”
Sophie, a mother-of-four, also owns the Mister Magnolia cafe in Ditchling.
Both the cafes are aimed at families and children.
She added: “We are glad it was only material things they took. We had been in here for three weeks before opening, painting and doing the floor ourselves.
“If they had damaged any of that hard work, it would have been heart breaking.”
Manager William Loxton, 20, opened up on the Saturday morning and said it took a while to realise the cafe had been burgled because there were only a few items moved.
He said although it was shocking that it happened, the response the cafe received afterwards was the overwhelming part.
“Throughout the day we had people coming in, and businesses and so much support on Facebook. It was quite remarkable really especially as we’ve only been open a few days.
“Staff from other cafes in the area even came round to check on us. People have gone out of their way and made sure we are OK which is so nice.”
Sussex Police said it was believed the burglary took place during the night and the intruders entered the property through a window.
Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone who has any information to come forward. Contact 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting serial 0338 of 16/05.