WINNIPEG — Stores and restaurants across Winnipeg have shut their doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But two small businesses that have remained open, said they were broken into, adding an extra layer of stress during an already difficult situation. A suspected thief targeted Pita Pit on Ellice Ave near Polo Park early Monday morning, smashing the front door and stealing the cash register.
“These are challenging times for everybody,” said Kirsten Hordo-Gentis, the restaurant’s co-owner. “It’s just so disappointing, especially at a time when humanity needs to step in and we need to be kind and supportive to help each other.”
Hordo-Gentis said the restaurant is offering take-out and delivery only and is staying open to keep its staff employed and feed essential workers. “As a small business owner, we’re trying to keep everybody safe, but still provide food and healthy food to those on the frontlines.”
Police said there was a break-in on the 1,400 block of Ellice Ave around 3 a.m. No arrests had been made as of Monday night.
The front door of Pita Pit was replaced the next day. Hordo-Gentis said several community members have reached out to offer their support.
The owner of Sweet Impressions bakery said her store was also broken into Sunday night. Part of the storefront is now boarded up, after the window was shattered.
Aynsley Rosin said it appears only her laptop was stolen. “It is already a difficult time for small businesses. Situations like this make things that much harder.”
Rosin said despite the setback, she has received an outpouring of support. “We have received an overwhelming number of messages and emails from customers and other small businesses offering well-wishes and words of encouragement.”
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