'Secret Millionaire' café closed by landlord

A popular Portuguese café that received £15,000 from a Scottish millionaire as part of a reality TV show has closed following long-running financial problems.

A popular Portuguese café that received £15,000 from a Scottish millionaire as part of a reality TV show has closed following long-running financial problems.

Daniella's Delicatessen in Thetford was given a windfall cheque by Scottish 'curry king' Charan Gill last year after taking part in Channel 4's The Secret Millionaire.

But just weeks after the Tanner Street shop reopened after a major refurbishment, its Portuguese manager was left shocked after her landlord served a repossession order.

The delicatessen had been run by husband and wife team Paolo and Maria Pereira for four years and was a popular social venue for the town's large Portuguese community.

But despite the surprise visit of The Secret Millionaire, the struggling business was still failing to pay the bills and the couple parted company shortly after the television programme was made in October.

Maria Brito , who has now reverted back to her maiden name, said she had used the £15,000 from Mr Gill to pay outstanding debts and fully refurbish Daniella's for a grand reopening on January 10. But on Friday, staff and customers were left disappointed to find the shop boarded up with a “notice of forfeiture” saying: “This premises has been repossessed by the landlord following forfeiture of the lease by peaceable re-entry.”

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“It is not my fault. I had one month rent to pay and the landlord has changed the key without any notice because I have had debt problems, my ex husband has run off, and they do not trust me to pay the bills,” said Ms Brito.

The 31 year old added that there was “no chance” that Daniella's would be reopening, but her other business, Carolina's restaurant, in White Hart Street, Thetford, would continue.

“At Daniella's, I worked so hard from 8am to midnight and I need more quality time with my two daughters. I need to start my life again and I would prefer to work for someplace and help the Portuguese community in Thetford,” she said.

Neither the landlord nor agent Kerseys Solicitors, in Ipswich, was available for comment last night .