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Cafe owner fears for its future after power supply dispute

todayJuly 7, 2021 5

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A cafe owner whose power supply had yet to be restored after a dispute over payments fears for the future of her business.

For Nice and Tasty Patisserie, it is the latest difficulty as it approaches its second anniversary of opening in Lynn High Street.

The business, which only reopened recently after a long closure during lockdown, remained without power on Wednesday – a week after a £5,400 payment to energy provider SSE.

No power and no customers: Proprietors Fatima Ribeiro and Sandra Falcao at Nice and Tasty Patisserie in High Street, Lynn
No power and no customers: Proprietors Fatima Ribeiro and Sandra Falcao at Nice and Tasty Patisserie in High Street, Lynn

Proprietor Fatima Ribeiro, who struggled for income during the enforced lockdown closure, says she has had to take out a large loan to resolve the matter.

“This is my only income,” she said. “It’s killing me. I’m crying every day.”

Nice and Tasty was shut for long periods after the Covid outbreak, reopening for a takeaway service on April 18 and then table service a month later.

An energy bill for about £1,900 arrived on Friday, June 18.

Fatima claims she has always maintained payments and the hefty bill was as a result of underestimated usage.

She accepts that she was too busy with work to deal with settling the bill straight away.

But she was shocked when workmen arrived on the next working day – June 21 – to disconnect the power supply.

With fridges, freezers and an oven all reliant on mains electricity, it was a devastating blow.

“I said to them ‘please don’t cut me off, I want to pay the bill. Please wait until I have called them,'” said Fatima.

However, she claims SSE the told her further charges had been incurred and paying the £1,900 bill would not be sufficient.

“I told them if I’m closed, I can’t pay,” Fatima added. “This company has taken no consideration for the pandemic.

“If I don’t open I can’t afford to pay my bills forward and I will have to talk to my landlord too.”

Fatima, who sold her house in Portugal in order to launch Nice and Tasty Patisserie in September 2019, settled all outstanding monies to the energy provider and was asked to pay forward too.

That was done on June 30 and she was told it could take up to ten working days for her supply to be reconnected.

Fatima said on Wednesday: “I’m still waiting. They should at least reconnect me straightaway.

“They know we are a business. A little bit of compassion would be nice but to them we are just a few figures.”

She added: “We’ve been closed, open, closed, open. It’s like we are going to start again.”

SSE had not responded to a Lynn News request for comment.

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