West Belfast coffee shop vows to remain open despite three attacks in past month
THE owners of a popular west Belfast coffee shop targeted three times in the past month say they won't be put out of business despite the latest attack.
Applejacks Coffee Shop and Eatery on the Glen Road, was targeted in an overnight attack on Wednesday when an object was used to ram the premises' shutter and shatter the glass underneath.
The damage to the business, which opened last July, was discovered when the owners turned up for work early yesterday.
The attack comes just weeks after the business at Caffrey Avenue was broken into.
On April 25 burglars gained entry and stole float from the till. They also cut the electric cables operating the shutters.
Just days before an angle-grinder was used to cut the base off a pavement sign outside the coffee shop advertising the business.
Jackie Bradley, who owns Applejacks with her husband, said when she heard about the latest attack, her "stomach just clenched".
Mrs Bradley, from the Glen Road, said she did not believe youngsters were behind the latest attack as the impact of damage to the glass was at head height.
"I don't want to think bad," she said.
"I want to think it is mindless thugs who are completely destructive...mindless vandalism".
Describing the past few weeks as "emotionally draining" she said they had no idea why they had been targeted.
"We are struggling enough trying to raise a small family as it is, trying to hold down our jobs."
She paid tribute to the west Belfast community who she said had rallied to help them, describing their support as "overwhelming".
"People are genuinely rooting for us to do well. My phone hasn't stopped," she said.
"People have come from everywhere. They are iterally coming in to show goodwill and support".
Mrs Bradley said despite recent events closing the business was "not even on our radar".
"There is absolutely no way. We are employing local people. It would take more than that for me to put people out of a job. It makes me more determined".