Space Bars Gelato is a small family owned and run business in Lismore NSW. Kash and Jahli have dedicated the last 7 years to their business starting off first as a market stall travelling the East coast of Australia to opening a brick and mortar store in Lismore in 2021.
The journey to opening a shop was a long one with many challenges along the way including a barrage of lockdowns, mandates and regulations that slowed business and even resulted in unexpected closures in their first year.
In February 2022 Space Bars, like other businesses in Lismore had just started to pick up and the need for more staff was on the horizon.
Enter the Great Flood.
At 10:30pm on Saturday February 28th Kash and Jahli couldn’t sleep and decided to activate their Flood Evacuation Plan thinking they were being overly cautious as the warnings didn’t seem too dire at the time. They packed up the stock and equipment in the shop and moved it upstairs to their 2nd floor office - which has never flooded in recorded history.
On Sunday the day was spent packing the remaining large equipment (fridges, freezers, dishy, gelato churner and display cabinets) and moved them to the Living School building with the help of local families, friends, customers and teachers to their second floor.
One sleepless, anxious night later and the whole town was under water and absolutely devastated by the flood. The flood reached a height of 14.47m which is larger than any flood in recorded history since colonisation.
95-98% of all the equipment that had been moved upstairs and over to the school building has been destroyed which totals well over 50k to replace.
The arcade and building that they lease has been damaged and will need reconstruction too. So it is still unknown whether the shop and office will be safe and usable in the foreseeable future.
Kash and Jahli are truly devastated by this event and their hearts are with everyone affected by this disaster throughout the Northern Rivers and beyond.
After cleaning out the shop and office they have been assisting locals in their clean up and spending time at local donation centres in between applying for financial assistance themselves.
This was not the way they had planned to spend their 1 year shop anniversary, which took place on Sunday 13th March
What’s next for Space Bars?
At this point there are many different paths Space Bars could take. Space Bars will live on in some form or another but in order to start again and build up the equipment needed for a temporary, mobile or permanent business model, some crowd funding is necessary.
If you love Space Bars or it’s human creators and you feel you can spare a few dollars, any help would be so very appreciated and would go straight into recovering from this event, paying off leased equipment and building up to being back in business again.
Space Bars sends out all their love to the local community and feel so proud of everyone for their heroic efforts over the last few weeks.
Below is a link to their website, which has a heartfelt video made my Jahli. If you have the time to watch, that would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your help and support. It means the world.
Fundraiser by Kristi Wade - ( Jahli’s cousin )
& Jahli and Kash