One last hurrah after popular cafe forced to close

Todd and Justine Lewis are sad they are unable keep their business Bizzibeans Cafe at the Cherry Lane Garden Centre in Long Melford.''Pictured: Mandy Payne along with TOny and Justine Lewis ANL-150922-133648009

Todd and Justine Lewis are sad they are unable keep their business Bizzibeans Cafe at the Cherry Lane Garden Centre in Long Melford.''Pictured: Mandy Payne along with TOny and Justine Lewis ANL-150922-133648009

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A cafe which has been forced to close its doors after eight years is to have one last celebration.

Bizzibeans Cafe has been based in Cherry Lane Garden Centre in Long Melford since 2007 but after failing to agree fresh rental terms with centre owners QD Group, husband and wife owners Todd and Justine Lewis have decided to go it alone.

Despite the disappointment of having to move on the pair have decided to say goodbye in style.

They are putting on a barbecue for charity, with all the takings from the barbecue and cafe on Sunday going equally to East Anglian Air Ambulance and Sudbury First Responder Team, which was recently targeted by thieves.

“Our staff are all working for free, even previous members of staff are coming back for the day,” said Mr Lewis.

Having made the decision that the offer from the QD Group, which also owns QD Stores and Thing-Me-Bobs, was unacceptable, the family have decided to start their own outside catering business.

They are already building a new kitchen in the back garden and are also looking to sell their cakes which were a real winner with customers.

Despite an ambitious new catering challenge waiting in the wings, Mr Lewis said it had been a “real wrench” to leave.

“It’s been hard work, seven days-a-week, but what we will miss is the customers,” he said. “We’ve got to know them so well, they are friends now.

“But unfortunately life changes. You’ve got to deal with it and move on.”

The business is a family affair with one of the couple’s two daughters now having to look for a new job, previously working at the cafe.

Mr Lewis said in the past a rental agreement with QD had changed from a fixed price to one which saw a percentage of all sales going to QD.

He said this had “sucked all the money” from the business.

Despite an extension being built at the centre for the cafe to move into, a new rental offer that was recently given was unaffordable for the couple, instead they decided the time was right to move on.

Mr Lewis said he would still keep a look out for premises in the Sudbury area... “Just in case”.

The charity event takes place on Sunday at the cafe from 10.30am until 3.30pm.