Spa day treat in tatters for Harrogate cafe as burglar swipes hard-earned tips from the till

Winners of the Harrogate Advertiser's cafe of the year competition: Mrs Smith's cafe.
Winners of the Harrogate Advertiser's cafe of the year competition: Mrs Smith's cafe.

Having saved up their hard-earned tips since Christmas for a team spa day, the staff of a much-loved Harrogate cafe were shocked to find their jar empty yesterday, following an overnight burglary.

Voted for by the public as the Harrogate Advertiser's 'cafe of the year' for 2019, Mrs Smith's Cafe on Jenny Field Drive has been overwhelmed with the kindness and support shown by customers since the incident - with many generous families and individuals helping to re-stock the tip jar, offering kind words, and dropping off bunches of flowers.

Children and younger customers have even been drawing pictures to boost morale after a tough 24 hours for the hard-working staff, who had been planning a well-deserved break at Rudding Park spa.

But the owner of the cafe, Phillipa Smith, said she is determined to ensure that the treat will still happen, but perhaps just a little later in the year.

Mrs Smith told the Harrogate Advertiser: "We are really overwhelmed and truly grateful for the support we have had. It's lovely to know so many people care enough to make a special effort to call in or offer kind words.

"We've been blown away by people's kindness. We love being part of the local community, and it's really lifted our spirits to know that they care about us so much in return."

Sharing news of the break-in with customers, Mrs Smith's cafe posted to their Facebook page: "As many of you know, we were broken into last night. Thankfully there was only minimal damage to the café, and that which was caused should hopefully be covered by insurance.

"We were able to trade today after a delayed start. Thank you to everyone for your patience when it was busy today, we were a bit behind on prep and our brains were not quite firing on all cylinders!

"We also lost the float from the till and unfortunately also the staff tips which we had been saving since Christmas for a team spa day at Rudding Park. They obviously weren't as well hidden as we thought! Lesson learned not to leave them on the premises!

"Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and support today. We've had lots of kind words, bunches of flowers and people contributing to get the tip jar restocked, many many thanks, your support means so much and has really cheered us up!"