AN ISLE of Wight family-run cafe is asking for help as it faces what the owners call a ‘get help or close dilemma' due to increasing bills, cost of supplies and the impact of Covid.

Sweet Charlie’s on Newport High Street is a cafe and dessert shop specialising in ‘fun foods’, like crepes, waffles and many savoury items.

Opening its doors on May 28, 2021, the original idea, by husband-and-wife team Charlie and David, was a late-night cafe for friends and family to attend.

The business started pre-Covid, and despite lockdowns, it did not deter them from continuing with the project but admit they did not count on the heavy increase in the costs of ingredients and products, plus the rise in bills.

A Crowdfunder has been set up, asking for £35,000 to help save Sweet Charlie’s.

Charlie said: “Myself, Dave and our hardworking team have poured our hearts out into this venue.

“Our hearts would break if we can’t keep providing positive experiences for Island families.

“We opened the cafe to bring something different to the town, and it’s been so positive that we would hate to give up on it now.”

Isle of Wight County Press: Sweet Charlie's on Newport High StreetSweet Charlie's on Newport High Street (Image: Newsquest)

An award-winning business, scooping two accolades at The Red Funnel Awards and LUXlife last year, Charlie and Dave say they are in this position due to not raising their menu prices soon enough and becoming VAT registered.

It also took a while to get staffing levels correct, and the pair said they did not ‘have an informative enough accountant before’.

To help tackle the crisis, the business has been reviewing its out-of-season-opening hours to reduce costs and added a soft play area to increase footfall for parents with small children.

Charlie and Dave now have a new accountant, which the pair say has a clear eye on the business and believes that should the Crowdfunding project is successful, the cafe will be able to move forward.

Isle of Wight County Press: Sweet Charlie's on Newport High StreetSweet Charlie's on Newport High Street (Image: Newsquest)

Charlie continued: “I appreciate strongly that we are not the only business or people going through this, and we don’t think we are more important than any other business, but our treasured customers have asked that we do this as so many don’t want us to go.

“It seems like a high ask when everyone is also dealing with their own utility prices at home, but we want to give people the chance to help if they can. This has been the hardest thing to do, to ask the community that we need help.

“We want Sweet Charlie's to be a beacon of light, hope and joy in an ever-changing world.”