IT'S business as usual for Ray Chisholm – despite a raid on his Gloucester Park cafe that has cost him well over £1,300.
Ray turned up for work only to find his new enterprise had been broken into.
Thieves had made off with a safe, £150 in cash, a cash register, SCOPE charity box and a CD player.
But it is the security improvements he has been forced to make that are proving most costly.
The businessman, whose firm Chiz's Catering also runs the upstairs food court at the Eastgate Shopping Centre, has vowed to carry on his public service, as long as his staff at the Cafe In The Park are safe.
He employs 17 workers between the two sites.
So far, he is facing a £1,000 bill for installing metal shutters, and a further £300 on CCTV security cameras after the raid last week.
"Unfortunately this is the risk of running a business in a park," said Ray. "We are trying to create an atmosphere where people feel safe. Although the stabbing was a one-off, people won't want to visit the park if they think there are maniacs running about with knives. But that isn't the case.
"As a business, we are ticking over. I don't think it will make me rich, but it is more about providing a service for Gloucester. The fair has also been very quiet, I'm not sure people are wanting to spend the money. The park has developed a reputation over the years, but by opening the cafe we are hoping to lose that image. This break-in won't help that but we will stick at it and improve security. The important thing is my staff are safe."
The incident came just days after the stabbing of Neil Bennett nearby in Park End road. But Ray insists the latest criminal activity shouldn't put off people from visiting. City councillor Paul Toleman (C, Westgate), said: "We have been working on an action plan to make the park safer since before the murder, and that will continue. Regular meetings are taking place to develop a strategy long-term."