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Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Cafe owner 'overwhelmed' by support after child tantrum row
A cafe owner criticised after she said she would deal directly with unruly children says she has been "overwhelmed" by support.
Kim Christofi received abuse after a post on the South Kiosk, Felixstowe, Facebook page said she would step in if parents were "too scared to discipline their children".
She said there was a queue of well-wishers ahead of the kiosk's reopening.
"I received flowers and cards," she said. "It was so emotional."
The Facebook post, which was made on Sunday morning and has since been removed, was shared more than 500 times and had some 600 comments, many of which said it was not the cafe's place to discipline children.
Ms Christofi, who put the kiosk up for sale a couple of weeks ago, said she had received "nasty" texts and "unsavoury messages on Facebook" after word of her initial post spread.
"I probably wouldn't have been so bold with that statement, given the onslaught of the hate speech, but generally I still stand by what I say," she said. "What I said on Facebook I would say to the parent's face."
Ms Christofi said she had been surprised by people's reactions and reiterated that the cafe was a family friendly place. She said if a young customer was being noisy she would deal with the issue "sensitively" and in a way that did not "embarrass or humiliate" the child.
"I would try and comfort the child, give them a cold drink or a colouring book and ask them to draw me a nice picture," she said. "That normally does the job, and peace comes."
The cafe was closed on Monday while food was prepared for the following day.
"I was apprehensive about opening," Ms Christofi said. "But the support eventually filtered through and there was a queue of people, saying we've never been here but we heard about your story and wanted to show their support.