Kingsthorpe Cafe will reopen this week after hidden cannabis farm forced it to close

The local community quickly rallied around the family-owned-business to help it bounce back after the horrific discovery left the future of the cafe uncertain

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 4:21 pm
Owner of Frankie's Bakes, Shaun Gallagher.

The owners of a cafe in Northampton have announced that they will reopen this week after a hidden cannabis farm uncovered in a flat above the business forced them to close.

Frankie's Bakes on Harborough Road in Kingsthorpe had to temporarily close on Monday, July 5 after a secret cannabis farm was discovered in the flat above the cafe.Devastated cafe owners, Shaun and Harriet Gallagher believed they would have to close Frankie's Bakes for good - a business they named after their baby boy, who sadly died in 2019 - after losing a lot of money through wasted stock and having to make expensive repairs.

The situation, however, was turned around thanks to a huge amount of community support and locals donating generously to the Go Fund Me page set up by Harriet.

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She said: "We are coming back! We are so grateful to our customers and community who have raised nearly £2000 to help us get back on our feet."

Shaun was the first to make the shocking discovery in the flat above their business - which is privately rented out to another tenant - when he noticed water leaking into the cafe's kitchen from the ceiling. He went upstairs to investigate and, after forcing his way through the door of the flat, found a cannabis grow containing 45 infant plants in the front bedroom.

He called the police immediately and officers, upon arrival, declared the cafe a crime scene and it had to close as police dismantled the grow.

Harriet, talking about the generous donations made by the public, said: "So far, this has helped pay for the materials needed to fix the ceiling and labour was donated by the t-shirt company, Porky Jack.

"We will use the rest of the money to replace our written off stock ready to reopen on Friday with a bit of luck."

The electricity in the cafe had to be turned off as police removed the cannabis plants and the growing equipment because the male renting the flat above had rigged up an illegal connection to the mains.

This meant that Shaun and Harriet had to waste around £2,000 worth of refrigerated stock on top of having to repair the ceiling, fix the damaged electrics and continue to pay all 12 members of staff working at the cafe.

The cafe owners told this newspaper that their insurers would not pay out because the business had to be in operation for 30 days before their policy started.

Harriet continued: "Our electricity has been turned back on today thanks to electrician, Mark Bird from SMS Plc, working extra hours to get our electrics back on today rather than waiting until July 22."

Frankie's Bakes opened on June 18 and the business had only been open for just under three weeks when the disaster struck. Thanks to the local community rallying around the business, Shaun and Harriet can continue to run their cafe and keep alive the memory of their son, Frankie.

The cafe serves a range of homemade cakes, desserts, milkshakes and burgers.

To find out more about Frankie's Bakes, visit their Facebook Page or call 07859 710845.