An award-winning cafe has decided to cut its losses and close its doors for good this weekend.
The popular family-run Pende Cafe in Arbroath – a fixture in the town for 14 years – will serve its customers for the final time on Saturday.
Like many businesses struggling during the Covid-19 crisis, owner Kelly McWilliams said that, despite receiving a government grant back in April, overheads became a constant strain.
She said: “The money soon ran out, what with rent, rates, electricity, telephone and staff wages it just wasn`t possible to stay financially viable.
“I just couldn`t continue waking up every morning in tears. ”
Kelly first started working in the premises as an employee 16 years ago when it was called Dukes Bistro.
She took over the cafe two years later with help from family members and renamed it The Pende Cafe.
The business would go on to win the title ‘Cafe of the Year’ three times in 2016, 2017 and again in 2019.
Kelly said: “My staff and I have worked hard building up a fabulous regular customer clientele.
“We also have many office customers who phone in orders for our carry out service.”
Regular customer Diane Stuart said: “I feel like I’ve lost my second home, because the staff treat you like family, the cafe also provides a great service to pensioners meeting for a coffee and friendly chat”.
Local independent Councillor Lois Speed said the loss of the cafe was “absolutely heartbreaking”.
“Kelly, her family and all the staff have worked hard over the years to make the cafe a success,” she said.
“Locally The Pende Cafe is very well respected and known not only for serving great food but always going above and beyond to provide excellent customer service and making everyone feel welcome.
“It was always service with a smile and it`s just so sad to see the devastation and loss that they are experiencing. I’ve met a number of regular customers who are saddened by this news.”