Louth cafe owner left out of pocket after being hit by cruel pranksters

A Louth cafe owner is urging pranksters not to target local businesses - after he was left out of pocket on three occasions in recent weeks.
The Hungry Belly Cafe in Mercer Row has been targeted several times.The Hungry Belly Cafe in Mercer Row has been targeted several times.
The Hungry Belly Cafe in Mercer Row has been targeted several times.

Shawn Murray, 28, who owns The Hungry Belly Cafe in Mercer Row (previously known as Perkins’ Pantry), has continued to provide meals for collection during the lockdown, but he has been targeted by someone placing fake telephone orders for meals which have then not been collected.

The most recent incident, in January, involved a phone call in which someone placed an order for five baguette meals - including chips, salad and coleslaw - but failed to pick up their order.

Shawn always asks for a contact number - but when he called the number he had been provided for this particular order, it turned out to be a false number.

Shawn explained: “It’s money I’m chucking away. I could do a lot with that money, like covering one of my bills - especially during lockdown.

“The most recent incident probably cost me around £40, but it’s happened three times and it will have cost me over one hundred pounds in total.

“I’d appreciate it if people don’t do this. We are only just getting by, by the skin of our teeth [due to lockdown].”

Putting aside the prank calls and the financial pressures of the lockdown, The Hungry Belly Cafe has had plenty to celebrate in recent months.

The cafe received a five star hygiene rating in December, and has also taken on a new high-quality coffee machine which will allow them to serve ‘coffee bar style’ drinks. The kitchen and restaurant areas have also undergone a refurbishment in recent months.

Shawn took on the cafe last summer, with support from town councillor and former Perkins’ Pantry owner Sue Locking, who ran the business between 1998 and 2012.

Shawn changed the name to The Hungry Belly Cafe back in October, as he establishes a fresh identity for the business.

The cafe is currently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but is open during the daytime on Wednesday (10am-3.30pm), Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (10.30am to 8pm), and is also open for takeaway Sunday lunch (8.30am-4pm). Call 01507 655229 to place an order for collection.

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