Heartbroken Burnley town centre cafe owner announces closure of popular business
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Those were the words of popular Burnley town centre cafe owner Kelly Bland who made the heart-breaking decision this week to close her business, the Krafty Cow tearooms.
"It's all down to costs," Kelly told the Express. "There just isn’t enough money coming in to make it work anymore. The business hasn't made a profit for months and I haven't been taking a wage either.
"I am heartbroken it has come to this but I can't see any other way."
Fighting back tears Kelly said her business in St James Street had been doing really this year after coming through the pandemic but the effect of the rising cost of living and energy prices going up had a knock on effect for her business.
She added: "People are cutting back on things, I understand that.
"And the price of stock has risen too, in some cases by a £1. You can understand a three, four or five pence rise but £1 has crippled us.
"We buy fresh ingredients and everything is home-made and that's not something I am willing to compromise on."
Kelly lived her dream to open the Krafty Cow tea room in the town centre in Boot Way five and a half years ago. Gaining a reputation as a 'funky little tea room,' where people of all ages could enjoy arts and crafts workshops, Kelly won an army of regular customers with her freshly cooked food and home-made cakes.
She regularly hosts children's parties at the weekend, and since moving to larger premises in St James Street in February, 2020, Kelly has worked round the clock to transform a room on the first floor into a children's magical party venue catering to different themes.
She said: "My baby classed used to be full, I had to turn people away.
"But as people are struggling to pay their bills they may see something like this as luxury rather than a necessity."
Ironically the Krafty Cow, which became the first ever winner of the UK Feed With Confidence breast feeding award in 2018, had recently received a five, the top mark possible, in the Food Hygiene Awards.
Kelly said she had been touched by the volume of messages of support from customers. She also said an investor in her business and the shop landlord had both been supportive and helpful.
Kelly added: "I haven't stopped crying since I made the announcement and I am so sad this had come to an end. This has been my dream and my life for the past five years and the Krafty Cow has been like its own community where people have come and met new people and made friends for life.
"I just need some time and space now to think about the future and what I want to do next. I have a lot of ideas floating round so watch this space."
The business will close on Sunday, July 3rd, and all party bookings made at the Krafty Cow will be honoured.