Mum and daughter's Gainford business falls victim to lockdown
NEWS that a popular village cafe, deli, and bed and breakfast business will not reopen when the coronavirus lockdown restrictions are lifted has been met with sadness from residents.
Mum and daughter business partners Dawn Wilson and Chloe Wright announced last week their Gainford-based business, Winstonberry, will be shutting for good.
Ms Wilson said on social media: “We have been closed for eight weeks with no firm idea or possible plan as to when we can return. News reports suggest ‘later in the year’, maybe Christmas, for the hospitality sector.
“We have decided we must close our lovely cafe, deli, gift shop and B&B. On May 1 we would have been celebrating two years of having the keys, but it also marked a break clause in our lease. Given the current situation and so many unanswered questions it seemed sensible to take the opportunity. The alternative would have been a further two year tie, and we just can’t take that risk.”
They were operating a takeaway service from the deli and gift shop when the lockdown was enforced in March. However, Ms Wilson said uncertainty about when restrictions would be lifted for the hospitality sector or if customers would feel comfortable in confined spaces left them with no alternative but to close permanently.
Ms Wilson added: “Government loans from the bank all sound great and helpful, but we’d have to pay it back, and going forward would our numbers be high enough to meet repayments?
“It is too great a risk and we don’t want to end up swimming in debt. The sensible option is to close the door on our little business.”
Many residents and customers expressed their sadness at the news but could “completely understand”.
Jeff Hillock wrote: “A very difficult, but completely understandable decision. Sometimes the correct decisions are the hardest to make. Sadly I don’t think you will be the only business to have to do this.”
Revd Eileen Harrop said the closure will be a “great loss” to the village.
Ms Wilson said another reason for closure was that Miss Wright is expecting her first child in October. She added: “Most importantly we can’t put Chloe or the baby at any risk. It’s a 50-50 partnership and to try and move forward with only one of us in this current climate is just unrealistic.”
The pair will be selling all fixtures and fittings in the coming weeks including furniture and electrical goods.