A popular Langley Mill cafe has beefed up security after thieves raided the premises two times in one a week - clearing it of food stock.
Staff at the Cromford Road eatery Basilia have twice had to pick up the pieces the morning after a break in - after it was burgled overnight on both May 11 and 19.
The first raid saw tills raided, CCTV removed and computer equipment lifted along with hundreds of pounds worth of artisan food – the second time raiders took mainly stock including eight expensive hams, rump steaks and a saddle of turkey meat.
Now owner Roma Bothamley says enough is enough.
“We’ve upgraded our security here now,” she said. “We’ve got a brand new, more secure alarm system fitted and we’ve got a big dog – we bought our tenants upstairs a German Shepherd.”
On the Monday morning after the second raid Roma said staff spent two hours cleaning the premise as the raiders had left footprints all over the work surfaces.
She said: “We weren’t able to produce breakfast, it was just demoralising - I was just full of tears.
“Literally we had the bread delivery so we did a lot of toast that morning.”
Roma said the second raid on Sunday, May 19, could have been even worse for the business, had a booking for a 70 person buffet not been rescheduled a fortnight prior to the date.
“Thankfully the organisers moved the event to the Saturday night before due to family commitments.” She said.
“Had it been on the Sunday, I would have got there at 6am on Sunday morning with no food stocks - what would I have done?
“They had taken everything - they took eight hams, rumps of beef raw.
“I would have had to tell them sorry I can’t do the buffet - it was for a 70th birthday as well.”
Roma believes the two raids are linked - as the culprits seemed to have targeted the same places second time round.
She said: “It’s definitely a team thing - I think the first time they were sussing the place out because they took the same sorts of things both times.”
Roma and her husband Tim opened Basilia in September 2012 in the same shop her father Basil occupied 50 years ago.
The couple had previous business success setting up deli Fresh Basil in Belper.
Roma was also born and christened in the Cromford Road building and prior to opening spent around £80,000 refitting the former butchers’ shop.
But the incidents have not dampened her enthusiasm for bringing an upmarket eatery to Langley Mill.
She said: “I was born here and I am aware that there is a small element of people that want to trash the name of Langley Mill for the majority.
“I just wish the police could get a grip on them –not just for me but for the other businesses in the area.
But she added: “We are firing on all cylinders now though - we’re back to normal and cooking on gas.
“As my dad used to say - don’t let them grind you down!”