THE Welshpool community has been described as “second to none” after rallying round to support a popular town centre coffee house that was vandalised last week.

Coco Coffee House had its front window smashed on Friday (May 14); owners posted pictures of the damaged shop front on its Facebook page, with the incident believed to have been caused the previous night.

The damage could not have come at a worse time for the owners, who were busily preparing for the reopening today of hospitality businesses indoors – another step towards coronavirus restrictions easing in Wales as the nation enters Alert Level 2. Indoor hospitality across the country can re-open today, with six people from up to six households (not including children under 11) able to socialise in cafes, restaurants and pubs, as well as cinemas and museums.

But, despite a testing few days, Coco will still be able to welcome customers inside this morning after staff, and some generous locals, worked around the clock to fix the damage.

“To all of the wonderful people who sent us kind messages, who come into Coco to support us and to the local businesses who offered us help, we are overwhelmed by you all,” said the owners on the Coco Facebook page.

“The Welshpool community, you are second to none. Sorry, we’ve not had time to reply to you all, but we’ve read your kind comments.

“We have had a local sign writer, who we didn’t even know was there, offer to come and sign write a new window. Wayne Ellis, you are one of a kind and those that need a sign, then this is the man for you.

“Thank you to Nick Parr for swiftly coming straight away to make our premises safe and secure and then coming back on Sunday to take off the boards to aid the police gain evidence.

“Sharon, our fabulous manager, and I spent three hours cleaning the shattered glass from inside Coco, and after a hard push and a 14-hour Sunday, we are ready to open up inside.

“We are excited and Covid-safe and cannot wait to see you.”

The post attracted hundreds of likes and several comments, with Jess Thomas saying: “Do hope the police manage to get the people responsible for ruining a lovely Welshpool business which has been hit for a second time by thoughtless vandals.

“To Jo and team, they will not win. Hope all goes well for you.”

The smashed window marked the second time in less than six months that the Broad Street coffee shop had been hit by criminals.

CCTV footage last December captured three people pulling trees, flowers and Christmas lights out of the planters in the bays in the café’s outside dining area. The seating area outside the front on the main street had been decorated for Christmas with fairy lights, but when manager Sharon Closs arrived for work on the morning of December 4, soil had been strewn all over the pavement and road – with those responsible labelled “drunken idiots”.

Following the most recent damage, the café posted on Saturday: “To the idiotic vandal who smashed our window numerous times. It is not in any way acceptable.

“The police have been and investigated, and to whomever did this, you are on CCTV and you will be prosecuted.

“Hospitality has had a tough year, this has added to it. We are open outside and for takeaway and will be open on Monday, May 17, inside. This vandalism will not defeat us.”