Café reopens five days after flooding: ‘It’s like being part of a horrible movie’

Floodwaters outside Ethical Bean Company Pic: Antonio Valla

By Lucy Snell and Cornelia Falknas 

The Ethical Bean Company cafe reopened today just a few days after the premises suffered a ‘devastating’ flood which ruined stock, appliances and power supplies.

The cafe, in Dace Road, Hackney Wick, was flooded on Thursday due to a nearby canal bursting its banks due to rainfall caused by Storm Henk. The area was among the worst affected in London by the storm.

The café was closed for five days and despite being back open, the struggle is far from over. 

Antonio Valla, owner of the café, told EastLondonLines: “We’ve got so much devastation to deal with because every day that we’re closed is a big burden on any small business owner.”

After the flooding, Valla started a GoFundMe to aid in the rebuilding of his café. The fundraiser has raised almost a £1,000 in two days and received supportive comments from multiple donors. 

One user wrote: “Hope you get back on your feet soon. You are a treasure for our community”. 

“We’ve got such a great team, and the local community has been great. We’ve all just pulled together,” Valla told ELL. 

When announcing their reopening on Instagram, Valla wrote: “…our team at EBC have been there early and leaving late to manage the aftermath”. 

According to Valla their stock, appliances, furniture, foundations, and electrical infrastructure were ruined.

“It’s absolutely dreadful, it’s like being part of a horrible movie,” he said.

Their fundraiser is still open, and they’re aiming to raise £2,500 to aid the recovery of their shop. 

On the night of the flood, the London Fire Brigade sent around 70 firefighters and ten fire engines to the area, after ten acres of land was flooded. 

However, Valla said his business has not received any aid from Tower Hamlets Council. He has been told there was no funding available to offer support after the flooding. 

ELL has approached Tower Hamlets Council for comment.

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