Community rallies around owner of robbed cafe

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A burglary over the weekend left a bad taste in the mouth of Susan Rowsell, owner of Eat Humble Pie Kitchen and Cafe, but she was also spurred on by the concern shown by the Alexandra community in the days that followed.

Ms Rowsell arrived at her Centrepoint shopping center store on Monday morning to find the cafe’s back door open and initially wondered if the cafe had been properly closed on Friday.

As part of her morning prep, she went to get some pies to put in the oven to warm them up, and was again surprised to find only a few in the fridge.

But it wasn’t until she went to open the till and check her float – her last action before it opened to the public each weekday morning – that the small business owner realized she had been robbed.

The thieves had taken not only the pies, but the coffee cart and Friday afternoon receipts, a staff tip jar which contained a year and a half’s worth of tips, and a few drinks from the locals.

It left a bad taste in her mouth, Ms Rowsell said, but she had also received messages of support from many nearby customers and other business owners.

“Yesterday someone came to buy pies to take home and when she heard the story she gave me $50.”

For a small business like hers, Ms Rowsell said, the very loss of the float was noticeable and tips had been earmarked to cover farewell drinks for a recently departed member of staff.

She would try to remember the many kind people there at Alexandra rather than dwell on those who robbed her, and she said staff drinks would continue “with a smile”.

Senior Sergeant Clint Wright said police have carried out a forensic examination of the scene and are awaiting the results.

tracie.barrett[email protected]

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