'It's been a nightmare': Calderdale cafe owner's 'quadruple whammy of bad luck'

A flood-hit business owner said she has been in a ‘nightmare of bad luck’ after closing her cafe amid coronavirus.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 10:58 am
Updated Monday, 11th May 2020, 9:13 am

Mum-of-three Lisa Thwaites, 44, who runs Blue Teapot Cafe in Mytholmroyd, said she has been juggling family life, while trying to keep her business ticking over during the Government’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Mrs Thwaites said it was always a dream to own her own cafe, but within the past six months said she has dealt with three floods since November, and is dealing with the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus.

She said: “I was badly flooded during Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis in February, and had to prepare for a flood after.

Lisa Thwaites stood outside Blue Teapot cafe in Mytholmroyd during Covid-19

“I opened up again after repairing flood damage by mid March and then a week later had to close because of coronavirus.

“I’m now relying on family and friends to work for free with deliveries just to tick the business over.”

Ms Thwaites said, like many businesses in the Calder Valley, it is too expensive to insure her business.

“It’s been a nightmare and insurers won’t touch businesses in Mytholmroyd because it’s a high-flood risk region,” she said.

Mrs Thwaites' children Matthew and Sophie

“I quit my job in early 2019 as an editorial manager of Thomson Reuters to begin my dream of opening a cafe.

“Since then, I’ve had three floods and now this virus has halted everything.

“It was the last thing I needed and it’s felt like a quadruple whammy of bad luck.”

The cash-strapped cafe owner said she had to put her staff on furlough leave with help from a government grant, but said she has felt in limbo.

Ms Thwaites outside her cafe during the aftermath of Storm Ciara

“It’s been very stressful, I’ve even had to bring my children into work for home-schooling because my husband is a key worker,

“Business wise, it’s frustrating because I can’t prepare until the government give an updated plan.”

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