The owners of a popular family cafe in Burnley who have endured "seven months of misery" following a fire in a neighbouring shop, have praised loyal customers for their support.
John and Lynn Scibetta, who run the award-winning Bellissimo Italian cafe and coffee shop in Parker Lane, have revealed how a fire in a next door takeaway last September had hit their business.
Lynn said: "The last seven months since the fire have been awful for a number of reasons, not least because many of our customers believed we had closed as a result.
"The takeaway next door is still boarded up, but we are open and proud to still be serving the people of Burnley. We just want everyone to know this, but also thank those loyal customers who have helped us in so many ways."
It was December 22nd when the fire, which broke out in the Lal Qila takeaway, would signal the start of so much heartache for the close-knit family.
Lynn added: "Thankfully, the fire didn't spread to our cafe but everything was smoke damaged. We had lots of food and drink in our stock room ready for the Christmas and new year period which was ruined.
"John, myself and our sons were in all over Christmas cleaning the shop, and we had so much help from our loyal customers. It was overwhelming and I just want to thank from the bottom of my heart.
"It has been tough since then with people thinking we are closed, and difficulties with the insurance, but I just want everyone to know we are still open for business."
Indeed, the family is now looking forward to a positive future, and has been shortlisted for a second time in the English Italian Food Awards.
Bellissimo, which won the Best Coffee Shop category in 2015, has been nominated in the Best Deli/Cafe category this time around. Members of the public can vote by visiting http://englishitalianawards.co.uk.
John and Lynn are also hosting a cicchetti night in the cafe on the last Saturday of every month. Please call 01282 788689 to book a table.