ICE Café owners hoping to reopen when safe to do so
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
A culinary business near Bury St Edmunds is hoping to reopen when it is allowed to after a devastating fire and the coronavirus pandemic.
It has been one year since the ICE Café and cookery school was forced to close its doors for two months after a "traumatic" fire.
Although the business had to close with the blaze causing over £1million worth of damage, it was able to reopen again in June 2020 and it has been operating ever since.
The closure also saw the number of staff reduced from 54 to 20 and the business has had to completely reshape to cope with that.
Customers will have to wait a little longer to be able to go inside the restaurant, however, but as of this weekend the business will be extending its takeaway offering which will include some old ICE favourites.
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Managing director of Infusions Limited, John Jackaman said: "As a company who supplies the hospitality sector, we were dealt a double blow with both fire and the pandemic which meant the closure of hospitality venues.
"The impact of Infusions and ICE has been extreme and will be felt for some time yet, but we are one of the lucky ones and have survived, mainly due to the hard work and dedication of our team who have adapted amazingly to the many changes.
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"It feels like at last, after the most horrific of years, we can start moving forward again and plan our reopening.
"The support forward and love we have received from our customers across all parts of the business over the past year has been genuinely humbling and has kept up going as a team when things seemed impossible.
"Now that we finally have the keys back to the restaurant and the Cook School is well on the way to being rebuilt, we just can't wait to reopen them both and do what we do best."
With the blaze keeping the doors closed for two months, the business launched a click and collect grocery service just as lockdown was announced, to help meet the demand by the public for items that were affected by the supermarket shortages.
This was well supported and although the demand has eased as expected, they still have members of the public buying from them regularly.
Throughout its own troubling times the business has still supported various charitable initiatives including The Chestnut Groups Giving Tree, donating ingredients for the Abbeycroft Leisure scheme to feed families in the school holidays and donating zero waste products to the Best Before Project.