THE owner of a coffee shop has warned she may have to close after strong winds dealt a damaging blow to an already struggling business.
On January 3, gale force winds caused the chimney stack of the three-storey building, which houses the Coffee House, to fall.
The damage led to the closure of part of Elie High Street between January 3-11 while the building and surrounding area was secured.
Owner of the Coffee House, Ann Murray (62), said the damage meant her shop was shut for what is usually a busy week following New Year.
The building has been secured by scaffolding since March of last year, after a bay window fell from the second floor, but fresh damage to the chimney has meant even more scaffolding is now required.
Following the damage in early March, the Coffee House closed for three months, missing out on the busy spring period.
Even after the shop re-opened, Mrs Murray said business was much slower than in previous years.
She was concerned customers were being put off by the scaffolding and might not even realise the shop was trading as usual.
She said: “After 12 years of being in business here, I’d be very reluctant to hang up my apron but I’m concerned about what will happen if the situation doesn’t improve.
“I never envisioned that, a year down the line, nothing would have changed and sometimes I do get a bit despondent.
“People don’t think we’re open and it’s obvious why.”
A retired school teacher, Mrs Murray bought the coffee shop after seeing it sitting empty while on holiday to Elie with her husband.
As the next busy season approaches, she hopes the Coffee House will be looking open for the influx of visitors and remains determined to keep the business going.
She said: “My message to our customers is we’re still open and we still have 14 different types of scones!
“There’s a need for a family-friendly place on the high street and I want to stick by the Coffee House.”