THE impact of two consecutive burglaries has forced a shop owner to close just four months after opening.

Sweet Harmony's coffee and cake shop opened in Water Street, Radcliffe, in October last year.

However, owner Rory Evitt said she has had to leave her rented premises and scale back her business due to the cost of the break-ins.

Sweet Harmony's will continue trading and operating a home delivery service from Miss Evitt's home in the Fishpool area of Bury.

Business start-up Miss Evitt, aged 33, said: "It has been a very hard decision to make.

"We were broken into twice in November. The first time they broke through the window. The second time they jacked the shutters up and battered the door frame. They ransacked the place. Following the second burglary, a knife was left behind at the shop.

"I just do not feel safe and can't stay there on my own."

Sweet Harmony's was first targeted by thieves in mid-November and then again just four days later, setting the business back by more than £3,000.

Miss Evitt forked out just under £2,000 to install steel bars on the windows, a steel door, barbed wire, security lights and an alarm on the property.

The burglaries have both been reported to Greater Manchester Police.

"I have to not let them win", Miss Evitt said. "I'm going to carry on and hopefully one day I will have a new shop of my own."

Miss Evitt will offer a home delivery service in the Bury, Radcliffe and Whitefield areas on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

She is launching an afternoon tea selection box and also a treat night box designed for weekends, as well as celebration cakes.

In the mean time, she is keeping a look-out for a new shop in the Salford area.

Dozens of customers attended Sweet Harmony's opening celebration on October 13 last year, when they were served a range of cream cakes and sweet treats.

"My customers have been fantastic", Miss Evitt said. "I have met some of the nicest people since opening.

"The people of Radcliffe are just amazing. It is just unfortunate that there are the minor few who ruin it for everyone else.

"It is a huge shame to leave but I am grateful for what I had. I feel like I have made friends for life there."