Café owner holds charity auction of portrait of Ukrainian president
- Credit: The Adams Family Shoppe
A Lowestoft café owner and portrait artist is hoping to raise money for Ukrainian refugees by auctioning a portrait of the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Desmond Baldry runs the Adams Family Shoppe, a quirky and "eclectic" café in London Road that is adorned with portraits created by himself.
It is hoped the sale of the portrait will raise money towards supporting Ukrainian refugees impacted by the conflict and he has already received a thank you letter from the Ukrainian Embassy for his fundraising efforts.
A Ukrainian-themed night is also planned on Friday and guests will be served dishes such as Borscht and a Ukrainian apple pie recipe.
Mr Baldry said: "Bidding closes Friday and it is already up to £220.
"The money raised will go towards helping Ukrainian refugees and i have been working with the Ukrainian Embassy who will be facilitating how the money is spent."
Mr Baldry has run restaurants for several years and formerly was the man behind Desmonds which served customers for ten years until its closure in 2019.
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After a brief break to go travelling, which included riding around the UK on a motorbike, he decided to open the new venture in December the same year after "getting bored very quickly".
Mr Baldry said: "The café was a greengrocers under the same name in 1906. I found the original fascia so we decided to use it and build the theme around that and is in-keeping with early 20th century style.
"It's very much my place and is quite eclectic and we play old-fashioned music and I have old-fashioned manners.
"Most of the artwork in the shop was done by myself during lockdown while we had no customers.
"We serve sandwiches, soups, cakes and scones and can provide afternoon teas by prior appointment."
Mr Baldry is also an accomplished portrait artist and has done commissions for prominent local businessman and also sells portraits of well-known figures such as The Queen and Lord Nelson.
Bids for his latest work can be made on social media or in person at the café and the auction will end Friday, April 7.