Buzz over plans to re­store lo­cal deli

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Kaylee Martin

FIRE de­stroyed a pop­u­lar lo­cal shop in Como last year and owner Gau­tam ‘Gem’ Gau­tam is now call­ing on com­mu­nity mem­bers to help him bring Busy Bee Deli back.

In Oc­to­ber last year, a fire en­gulfed a com­mer­cial space on Barker Av­enue.

The flames spread to the Busy Bee Deli, de­stroy­ing equip­ment and stock, and forc­ing it to close down.

“This fire not only de­stroyed my dreams for a bet­ter fu­ture but it robbed me of the fruit of my hard labour,” Mr Gau­tam said.

“It’s de­prived me of the abil­ity to pro­vide for my fam­ily of six.”

Mr Gau­tam had bought Busy Bee Deli in May 2014 and soon de­vel­oped strong re­la­tion­ships with his cus­tomers.

“When I took over, cus­tomers no­ticed a lot of pos­i­tive changes; the prod­ucts be­came more rel­e­vant to the needs of clients and there was also a no­tice­able change in at­ti­tude,” he said.

“We grad­u­ally ren­o­vated the shop and turned it into a min­isu­per­mar­ket.”

Mr Gau­tam said he had in­vested all his sav­ings into buy­ing, ren­o­vat­ing and stock­ing the shop.

“All my prof­its were also in­vested, so the deli was only in­sured for $30,000, which is $150,000 less than what it’s worth,” he said.

“I’m

aim­ing

to raise the $150,000 of dam­age in stock and fit­tings, plus an­other $50,000 for loss of profit since the fire.”

South Perth MLA John McGrath said he wanted to see Mr Gau­tam given the op­por­tu­nity to re­open the shop as soon as pos­si­ble.

“It’s hard not to feel for Gem and his wife Rose, who’ve lost their busi­ness through no fault of

d448889 their own,” he said.

“They worked very hard to build the busi­ness and the fire took away their liveli­hood just when it had be­gun to thrive.”

Mr Gau­tam said he hoped the funds would help re­store the Busy Bee Deli to the stan­dard it was be­fore the fire.

For more de­tails or to make a do­na­tion, visit www.busy­beedeli.com.au.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Gau­tam ‘Gem’ Gau­tam and Roshni Agrawal with Girik (3) and Ganak (2), deli busi­ness ac­coun­tant Phil Touhey, MLA John McGrath and lo­cal cus­tomer An­drew Win­kler.

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