Hedge stall closes after young vandals strike

VANDALS caused hundreds of pounds-worth of damage to a popular hedge veg stall at the weekend, leading the owners to temporarily close the business.

Vandals caused hundreds of pounds' worth damage to a popular hedge veg stall leading to its temporary closure. (30780038)
Vandals caused hundreds of pounds' worth damage to a popular hedge veg stall leading to its temporary closure. (30780038)

Hudge, which sells a selection of homemade fudge flavours from a roadside box in the Forest, sustained about £250-worth of damage when a group of youths destroyed the box, stole 11 packets of fudge and threw them into nearby bushes.

They also snapped a flag and left the remnants of their destruction in the road.

The business was started up by Julia and Matt Thornton during the first lockdown.

‘It was so mindless,’ said Mr Thornton.

‘We will probably close for a couple of weeks.

‘We have suffered a bit of a loss and we need to order a new box, but it is more about the upset it has caused Julia.’

The youths responsible were believed to be only about 11-12 years old.

It follows a spate of vandalism across the island in recent weeks, during which a vacant house has been damaged and Saints Bay Kiosk was also targeted.

‘My wife is really busy with corporate orders so last week she had been manic with it.

‘It was time away from her family over the bank holiday weekend,’ added Mr Thornton, who was alerted of what had happened by a passer-by.

‘I had a knock on the door and they said that parts of the box were in the road.

'I jumped on my bike and went down and saw someone carrying packs of fudge. They said what they had done and the police were informed,’ he said.

In a social media post, his wife said she was shaken up after the incident.

‘I can’t tell you just how upsetting this is to me and my family. Most early mornings, during the day and late evenings, I’m Hudging in one form or another. I work hard for my business that I’ve started from scratch,’ said Mrs Thornton.

‘It is so rare for packets to not be paid for. Sometimes people don’t pay but then message later to tell us and make it up another day. But for this to happen it’s just another level.’

But islanders have come out in their droves to support the couple and their business. A justgiving page was set up to contribute to repairs. Its target was £300 and by mid-afternoon yesterday that had already been exceeded.

Mr Thornton said he was staggered by the response.

‘We’ve been blown away with offers of other support. People offering to repair or replace the broken boxes, people offering us space in the boxes until we’re up and running again, offering to buy us a new cash tin. The outpouring of support really has been phenomenal,’ he said.

BLOB The Just Giving page is www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/niamh-garnham.

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