Owner of the Deja Brew Cafe, Alex Christian, prepares a hot latte during an interview at her shop in El Socorro Road yesterday.

[email protected]

Along El Socorro Road, several business spaces have folded since the because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The road contains several buildings offering spaces for rent to businesses, offices and factories, many of which have become vacant.

One business owner, Alex Christian of Deja Brew Cafe, has been determined not to become one of them.

“My business was opened in 2019, and I am a start-up. For a start-up to be transitioning into COVID, it has really impacted me,” she said.

The business had been working on establishing its presence when the pandemic hit, causing the coffee shop which specialises in continental style breakfast, to come to a screeching halt.

“The months that we were closed down completely, there was no money, no money to even pay rent or even pay myself, my workers…everybody had to go home,” said Christian.

“Basically we had close down. We start back again, I got help. I thank God that I got help from family, from friends, close friends, and it (was) very challenging.”

The re-opening was far from smooth.

Christian told Guardian Media that at some points, sometimes only one cup of coffee would be sold as surrounding offices were closed due to the initial lockdown.

Even with some relaxation of the restrictions, there has been a significant decline in the stream of customers to the shop.

“Our traction is no longer how much we used to get as a new coffee house in El Socorro area.

“It has dropped tremendously,” she said.

Her business has tried various strategies to keep afloat, opening in the evening to sell burgers and even adding Sunday lunch to their menu to bring in business.

She hopes these adjustments, along with increased social media advertising will keep the coffee shop buoyant in an otherwise dismal economic space.

“I’m just really hoping the people will come out and support,” said Christian.