Defiant town centre cafe owner Jane Guest: “Thieves won’t beat me”

By Michael Upton | 27/09/2019

Defiant town centre cafe owner Jane Guest: “Thieves won’t beat me”

A GRATEFUL cafe owner has thanked fellow traders and well-wishers who rallied round to get her back on her feet after her second burglary within weeks.

Jane Guest (pictured) said she was touched by the outpouring of support that followed the break-in at Guest’s Team Rooms in Rotherham’s High Street last Friday night and determined not to let the thieves win.

Food, coffee and catering equipment worth up to £1,500 was stolen after the front door was forced open.

But Jane — who joked in a notice in the front window that the police better catch the criminals first because “I have a friend with a pig farm” — refused to let the raid get her down, insisting: “This is far from the worst thing that has happened to me.”

Jane, who previously worked for fellow High Street business Hambys, only opened her tea rooms ten weeks ago but was targeted just six weeks later by thieves who forced their wade in before stealing nothing but a bit of carrot cake!

This time around, the burglars helped themselves to a bumper haul, including a coffee grinder and a panini toaster, and emptied the fridges.

“I got a call on Saturday morning from my bread man saying we’d been broken into again,” said Jane.

“All the food and cake went as well.

“But this isn’t the worst thing that’s happened in my life.

“My husband died six years ago and I nursed him. 

“This is annoying but it’s only stuff.

“And the support we’ve had has blown me away.”

As well as family and friends, Jane and her team were helped out by other high street traders, including staff from The George Wright Hotel, who loaned her a panini toaster, and the owners of Miele Deli, who supplied coffee and offered to make it for her customers.

“And there’s a really good spirit on this street, where we are all independents,” said Jane.

“Everyone has been so kind.”

Jane said she hoped CCTV images would help identify the culprits.

She echoed the calls of other traders for more police presence in the town centre but admitted it was a vain hope given the limit to their resources.

“Of course, I would like to see them here all the time but realistically it’s not going to happen.”

Jane’s defiance in the face of crime echoes that of the owners and staff of Effingham Street restaurant E’Lupo, which opened just hours after being broken into earlier this month.

She added: “I’m not a victim. We all have bad things happen to us but you have to take the good from it.

“Everything we’ve had from customers has been positive and we want to continue serving them.”
 


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