Aldeburgh: After major fire Aldeburgh Market and Cafe reopens

Aldeburgh Market and Cafe has just reopened after a fire last year. Owner Sara Fox outside the store

Aldeburgh Market and Cafe has just reopened after a fire last year. Owner Sara Fox outside the store. - Credit: Archant

AFTER eight months of painstaking refurbishment work, a food shop has reopened following a major fire.

Last June, a fire swept through Aldeburgh Market and Cafe causing extensive damage throughout the 150-year-old building.

But now the shop, which has a fresh fish counter and delicatessen, has been flooded with customers coming through the door since its reopening on Saturday.

Owner Sara Fox, 65, said: “People were always calling in saying ‘when is it going to open?’ It’s been fabulous, we have had a massive amount of support.

“It was a major rebuild. The fire started in a side room above the kitchen and spread upstairs – there was massive amount of rebuilding to do. All the rooms had to be cleared of damaged stock, all the kitchen equipment was wrecked.

“The room above the kitchen had collapsed. The extraction system was burnt out. The builders had to start from scratch rebuilding the building. The windows were burnt out, the roof was burnt out. It was a major event.

“Everything was fire or smoke damaged, anything that was not burnt was badly smoke damaged. We spent a lot of time putting the records back together from the office.

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“Smoke damage is horrendous. You could not pick up anything without it being covered in smoke and ash.

“Everything smelt of smoke, all the plaster had to be taken off because of the smell of smoke.

“It did cost a lot of money to put the shop back together again – fully equipping the kitchen and all the stock.”

Dozens of fire crews from across the county tackled the fire, with the High Street being closed for much of the day.

A plan of action to restore the shop was quickly drawn up following the fire. A team of builders, plumbers and electricians worked to bring the shop back to its former condition.

Mrs Fox, who also runs The Lighthouse Restaurant in Aldeburgh, said all the staff were really excited to have reopened the shop.

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