Community upset over loss of village cafe

‘A loss to the community’, ‘gutted’ and ‘upsetting’ is how residents of Bolnore Village have described the closure of cafe Cuppa-licious.

Sarah McGill owns Cuppa-licious with her partner Sean O’Riordan. The coffee shop has been a feature on The Square for nearly two years, but they claim high rents contributed to the cafe being closed for good.

JPMT - Owners of Cuppalicious in Bolnore Village are concerned about the future of the shop if business does not increase. Partners Sarah McGill and Sean O'Riordan

JPMT - Owners of Cuppalicious in Bolnore Village are concerned about the future of the shop if business does not increase. Partners Sarah McGill and Sean O'Riordan

Ms McGill said: “We are just so sad and shocked by the decision made by our landlords to forfeit our lease.”

Ms McGill and Mr O’Riordan were not paying the full rent which meant they had broken the lease, this combined with a limited footfall led to the closure of the cafe.

“We had a meeting with the landlords whereby we told them the rent was too high since two of the units, namely the Pharmacy and Zerooti, went out of business thus reducing our weekly takings,” Ms McGill added. “We maintained we would continue to pay a more realistic and reasonable rent every month which we did. However if they reduced their rents to bring in other units we would happily pay more.”

Carlos Leon, chair of Bolnore Village Residents’ Association said: “The closure of Cuppa-licious is terrible news for residents of Bolnore. People who frequent the branded coffee shops in town may not fully appreciate the extent to which Cuppa-licious was so many things wrapped into one: a meeting place, local pub and a venue for parties. It was the only such place for 2,000 or so Bolnorites who live within walking distance and prefer not to drive into town. Sean and Sarah worked tirelessly to make their business successful and many people are very grateful for all their efforts and the good times had in Cuppa-licious.”

On the cafe’s front window people had posted messages of support.

One said: “I’m really upset that you’ve had to close. You were such a boost to the community.”

Another added: “You will be missed, such a big part of the community.”

“Thank you for a fab coffee shop. We are going to miss you.”

Ms McGill said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many who did support us. Most people who walked through our doors became friends, not customers and we have had the most amazing time. We can honestly say we tried everything.”