Flood stirred up support for Bradford on Avon cafe

This Is Wiltshire: Becky Tyler, owner of The Teapot cafe in Bradford on Avon Becky Tyler, owner of The Teapot cafe in Bradford on Avon

When owner Becky Tyler closed the door on the flooded Teapot cafe in Bradford on Avon on Christmas Eve, she questioned whether to open it again.

But after two months of drying, cleaning and redecorating, and plenty of messages of support, she re-opened the cafe last Thursday.

Miss Tyler, 25, who has owned the Silver Street cafe for two years, was working 20-hour days in the run-up to Christmas, producing cakes for the cafe and neighbouring Budgens store in Lamb Yard when the floods hit.

She said: “I had made 5,000 mince pies and done everyone’s cake orders for Christmas. I knew I had done everything so expected to have three days off as a break.

“When it happened I couldn’t believe it. I had seen it flooded by the Swan Hotel before and The Teapot was flooded 13 years ago when it was the Scribbling Horse, but I never thought it would reach here that day.”

The cafe was professionally cleaned four times and all the equipment in the kitchen had to be replaced.

It has been covered by insurance and the landlords have now put in removable panels and raised the electric points to protect the property in case of future flooding.

Miss Tyler, who lives in Kingston Mills, said: “We have been very lucky with our insurance and the landlords have done a lot of the work. Friends, family, regular customers and people I don’t know were so supportive, sending me cards and letters, that it really motivated me to carry on.

“This has been the one thing I have focused my life on. I reflected on whether I wanted to carry on and if it was worth the heartache.

“I was working from 4am to midnight and suddenly I was doing nothing.

“It was also difficult to get hold of people over Christmas to sort everything out.”

She has kept her eight members of staff and said: “They were a massive part of the team and I was concerned they might want to leave but they are all here and it feels brilliant to be back.”

The Fat Fowl restaurant opposite will be the last flooded business to re-open, in four-six weeks.

The building has been tanked and had new drainage and sump pumps put in, but equipment needs to be bought and decorating still has to take place.

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