By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 17 January 2022 • 15:38
Londoners showed their good side last week when they raise thousands for a restaurant in danger of closure after a robbery. The Sugarcane restaurant on Wandsworth Road was on the brink of closure after money and stock was taken, and the restaurant vandalised.
Nearly £3000 has now been raised to help the owner, Chef T, cover costs and save Sugarcane after a GoFundMe page has been set up by a local customer.
The customer food-blogger Serena Vaughan set up the page because “Chef T is too humble to do it himself.”
Nearly £15,000 worth of damage was done to the restaurant. Windows were smashed, shutters broken and the microwave, oven and fridges damaged. Food, alcohol, a laptop and money were reportedly stolen.
The Caribbean restaurant was opened by Chef T in the first UK lockdown and employs care leavers as well as using local suppliers and delivering to food banks.
With business quieter than usual following a Christmas of cancelled bookings, the Clapham spot is now suffering.
One of Chef T’s Instagram posts asks for help with donations but also reads: “better still visit us all I want is to be Wandsworth roads best restaurateur. And I hope you can help me continue to do that.”
Donations continue to come through on the page, which says: ‘In typical fashion, he isn’t expecting any donations, and it would be nice to show him that we care!”
Support for Chef T is strong with many leaving donations and comments such as: “Such a hardworking young man who makes brilliant food. Praying he can keep the restaurant open.”
Many have left comments of support on his Instagram page, showing the love for this Caribbean restaurant, comments such as “keep going!”, “we’ve got you” and “You are the kind of business owner we want in our neighbourhood!”
The grateful owner has responded by writing: ‘All I can do is say thank you to my local community. The fact people have stopped by to offer help and support. Shows me, that I’m not alone. It’s kept me going.’
This is great news for a city that is often criticised for its lack of generosity and care for others, and as Londoners continue to raise thousands for the restaurant many others will be encouraged to dig deep and to help others in similar situations.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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