Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2022. 9:30 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: When the popular establishment Ella’s Cool Spot in Hopkins Village was burnt down in late June, owner Ella Carr said she had faith that the business would rise and thrive again. Now preparing to start construction of a new building, Carr believes her faith has been rewarded.
In an exclusive interview with Breaking Belize News (BBN), Carr said that after a successful round of fundraisers, an amazing outpour of love and support from regular patrons, businesses and the community at large, plans are being finalized to begin reconstruction towards the middle of August.
“We had one of our final fundraising events, a two day open air concert. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who made this event a success,” Carr said. “We would like to express special thanks to: everyone who donated cash or manual labor; anyone who invited friends to participate or attend the event; our generous friends and supporters; and all Belizeans and foreigners who made it all the way to Hopkins to show support and give a warm hug and best wishes.”
In the early morning of June 21, authorities responded to a call of a fire at the establishment known as Ella’s Cool Spot. Belize National Fire Service personnel and community members did the best they could to extinguish the blaze, but the building was completely destroyed, and with it 12 families lost a source of income. The situation was made worse by the fact that the fire was believed to be the malicious act of an arsonist.
In a previous interview, Carr told BBN she started her business in 2015 after spending some years working as a food and beverage manager in several A-list resorts. After Carr found herslef unemployed due to a difference in opinion with management, she started out selling barbecue and saved to build her restaurant.
With support from an uncle, she managed to put up the first structure. As the crowds started to grow Carr said she knew she had to expand to keep up with the demand.
“I started out with the stove out of my house, my table and my chairs,” Carr said.
She went on to say that she hopes her story will inspire others, particularly women, to keep pushing when they feel like giving up.
By 2018 Ella’s Cool Spot was among the top 10 restaurants in Hopkins, from a pool of over 40 establishments, and by 2021, it was among the top 3. Carr told BBN that the restaurant also won Trip Advisor traveller’s Choice Awards for three years straight, 2019. 2020 and 2021, putting Ella’s Cool Spot amongst the top 10 percent of the best restaurants in the world.
Breaking Belize News applauds Carr’s tenacity and perseverance, and wishes her all the best as she prepares to host the grand reopening of Ella’s Cool Spot.
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