A CAFÉ in County Wexford has issued a heartbreaking goodbye to its customers after it was forced to permanently close its doors due to complications from the coronavirus pandemic.
The adorably named Toffee and Thyme café in Enniscorthy closed its doors for the last time on 4 August after 24 years serving the local community.
In a heartbreaking letter posted to the door of the café in the town centre, owner Pauline Maguire announced that the café "has not survived the recent challenging times" since the pandemic hit Irish shores.
The letter, seen by Irish Independent journalist Amy Molloy who posted it to Twitter, reads:
"Regretfully our beautiful cafe has not survived the recent challenging times we find ourselves operating through, with restrictions and safety measures imposed it has become impractical and financially difficult to continue trading.
"From my broken heart l would like to gratefully thank you all for your support and custom over the past 24 years in business in Enniscorthy.
"I would especially like to thank my staff for their hard work and loyalty.
"Finally l would like to wish you all good health and keep safe and well."
Heartbreaking reading these messages on the doors of cafes, restaurants and pubs 💔 pic.twitter.com/wJELWmsLAY
— Amy Molloy (@AmyMolloyIndo) August 12, 2020
Ms Maguire posted the same message to Toffee and Thyme's Facebook page, where messages of condolences and support came flooding in from loyal customers.
"This is so sad," one woman wrote. "Toffee and Thyme was an amazing place for gathering. Food and service second to none.
"Wishing you and all your staff the very best in the future. Love and blessings."
Another heartbroken customer wrote "You will be missed Pauline, and all your staff.
"Another sad day for Enniscorthy."
The closure comes at a time when businesses across Ireland are under threat due to business lost during the lockdown: restaurants and cafés were closed for weeks on end, and pubs which do not serve food remain closed until at least 31 August or possibly longer.
The struggle to survive financially has led to multiple businesses closing, including one pub in rural County Limerick-- the village of Doolin's only public house-- which closed its doors for the last time earlier this week.