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Food firm to reopen for click and collect after ‘devastating’ fire

PUBLISHED: 19:00 22 May 2020

The ICE Cafe site in Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, suffered a fire in March  Picture: MARK HEATH

The ICE Cafe site in Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, suffered a fire in March Picture: MARK HEATH

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A food business that was temporarily put out of action due to a “devastating” fire will reopen its click and collect service in June.

Inside the ICE Cafe in Rougham.Inside the ICE Cafe in Rougham.

Infusions Ltd, which has the ICE Cafe and cookery school at its site on the Rougham Industrial Estate near Bury St Edmunds, was dealing with the impact of the coronavirus crisis when a fire broke out in one of its buildings.

MORE: Food and restaurant firm tells of ‘traumatic’ blaze tackled by 30 firefighters

The business, which is also a supplier to hotels and restaurants, hadn’t long started its click and collect grocery service to help feed the public when the blaze happened in March.

Sarah Stamp, director of operations at Infusions Ltd, said it will reopen on Monday, June 1 for click and collect.

She said: “This will mean we can offer people a safe, convenient and easy alternative to traditional supermarkets, at a time when many people are still isolating and worried about socially distancing.

“It also marks the start of our recovery as a business after the uncertainty of the past couple of months.”

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She said it had been a “truly horrible time” for them as a small, local, family business.

The fire at Infusions, which is a supplier, restaurant and cookery school near Bury St Edmunds, in March Picture: MARIAM GHAEMIThe fire at Infusions, which is a supplier, restaurant and cookery school near Bury St Edmunds, in March Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

“Infusions Group consists of a restaurant and cook school which have been forced to close and a dry stores business which makes its living selling to hotels and restaurants (all of which are also closed) so I think it’s fair to say we are struggling more than most and had to furlough all 50 of our staff.

“Add to that the fire which has destroyed two warehouses and caused literally hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage.”

MORE: Suffolk publicans speak of ‘big risks’ to the industry as they fight to survive over the coronavirus crisis

She said work was slowly starting on the damaged buildings and removing contents, but it would be quite some time before they could reopen the cook school and restaurant.

“Since the fire, we have received hundreds of messages of support from local people and so many offers of help it was quite unbelievable,” she added.

The fire was discovered when staff turned up for work in the morning. They were praised by the fire service for leaving the building and dialling 999, rather than trying to tackle the blaze themselves.

Station commander Henry Griffin, of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, also praised the “swift action” of the fire crews who effectively managed to stop the fire spreading across the units.

ICE Café and Cook School celebrated its first birthday in April.


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