THE owners of an ice cream shop and cafe on a busy retail park have decided to shut the doors and sell the business.

Family-run Joey’s Waffle House, on Abraham Enterprise Park, Bishop Auckland, had built up a strong customer base before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

But owner Kirsty Lowther, who runs the business with wife Steph and named it after son Joey, said the impact of Covid lockdowns – coupled with traffic issues – has led to them calling time on the venture.

Mrs Lowther said: “We were coming into our third year, we made a nice start, we had a good customer base and were doing fantastic before Covid hit but it crippled us really.

“We had some great regular customers and brilliant feedback, were happy to open up on Christmas Day and 13 deliver food hampers so people didn’t go hungry and had some lovely groups of vulnerable adults who came in.

“It was a hard decision to make and a real shame we couldn’t say goodbye properly to our customers in the shop, but we cannot justify putting any more money into it.

“We’re selling the business, the fixtures and fittings, so it will be a good opportunity for someone else to take on just as we come out of lockdown.

“We’re working on what to do next but people in the area might hear from us again in the future.”