Eastern European shop in Norwich damaged by arson attack is to re-open this weekend
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
The owner of an eastern European food shop which was badly damaged in an arson attack said she is planning to re-open this weekend.
More than £30,000 was raised to support the Romanian owner of The Village Shop on Magdalen Street following the incident last month.
Part of the store was damaged after a brick was thrown through its front window and a fire was started inside during the early hours of July 8.
But one month on and owner Sorina Abraham, along with her daughter Andreea, are preparing to re-open to customers on Sunday.
The 44-year-old said: 'There is one reason why I was determined to reopen the shop and remain in Norwich.
'It was for all the people who were by our side, for all the people that came to our shop and put hearts with messages, for all the people that, in different ways, helped and supported us.
'If they had not been there for us, without any doubt, I would not be in Norwich now.'
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Police have today released new CCTV images from inside the shop showing the moments before the attack took place.
A spokesman said no one was currently being questioned or had been arrested, and witnesses and information are still being sought.
While police are still keeping an open mind over the attack, they have not ruled out a racial motivation.
Andreea, 23, said her mother has had to spend thousands of pounds on new stock and repairs to the shop, which sells Eastern European food.
But the money has had to come from their own personal savings as the £30,000 raised by the public has not yet been transferred to them.
She said: 'It has been tough, especially for my mother, because we had to come up with a really good plan to sort out what we needed.
'We had to throw away all of our stock, even if it was not damaged by the fire, because when we opened it all smelled of smoke.'
As well as a new floor, shelving, and window, they have had to spend around £15,000 re-stocking the shop.
The JustGiving campaign page set up to raise money for the owners ended just over one week ago.
But a spokesman for the company said it could be another week before the funds are transferred over.
Speaking about the response from the local community, Andreea added: 'It has been great and it this is why we said we will open the shop again.'
The arson attack happened just hours after more than 1,000 people attended an anti-Brexit rally at City Hall.
People are invited to the shop's re-opening this Sunday at 10am. Free cakes will be on offer for those attending.
Anyone with information relating to the arson is asked to call Norfolk Police on 101.
Are you re-opening your business following a fire? Call Luke Powell on 01603 or email email@example.com