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A hole lot of love for eatery kicked off farm in doughnut row




Offbeet owner Peter Axworthy
Offbeet owner Peter Axworthy

A CUSTOMER has launched a fundraising page to help save a vegan restaurant ordered to shut down in a row over the hugely popular addition of doughnuts to its menu.

Nicole Thompson-Vassel is urging people to support Offbeet’s relaunch at a new location when it leaves Sunnyfields Farm, off Jacobs Gutter Lane in Totton.

As reported in the A&T, the eatery has been given six months to vacate the site by landowner Barker-Mill Estates.

It said the sale of hundreds of doughnuts a day went against its “core values around health and wellbeing”.

Owner Peter Axworthy (40) was shocked to receive the eviction notice weeks after adding the sweet treats to the food and drink on offer for takeaway during the current coronavirus lockdown.

Arguing the restaurant had sold many other sugary foods during its three years of trading, as had the on-site farm shop, he explained the addition was partly to help keep the small independent business afloat with its eight staff.

Offbeet's controversial doughnuts
Offbeet's controversial doughnuts

Launching the Go Fund Me webpage last week, Ms Thompson-Vassel wrote: “This eviction could not have come at a worse time.

“Small businesses are under immense pressure to remain afloat during a global pandemic.

“Offbeet are now searching for a new premises which is likely to result in lost revenue and a potential loss of some of their dedicated and hard-working staff.”

She added its closure would be a “huge loss” to many loyal customers.

By Thursday afternoon, 61 supporters had contributed £1,475 towards a £15,000

target.

The fundraising page was welcomed in a post on Offbeet’s Facebook page, which said the business had been “truly humbled” by the generosity and support.

“This was such a surprise and an incredible gesture,” the post said. “The idea of crowdfunding has crossed our minds in the past but we’ve always felt a bit uneasy about asking for help.”

Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/f/help-save-offbeet-raise-funds-for-their-relaunch



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