A Frome businesswoman whose premises were broken into over the weekend with cash and stock stolen has condemned the criminals who ransacked her shop.
Juliet Johnson opened House of Animals on the Marston Trading Estate in April and employs five people. She was a finalist in the Wessex and Frome Chamber of Commerce Start-up Business competition with the Somerset Standard as one of the sponsors.
In seven months she has been broken into twice. This time intruders used wire cutters to cut through fencing at the rear of her premises and smashed the lock on the front door.
Ms Johnson began House of Animals from her kitchen table. It specialises in themed products and has a flourishing online business as well as selling goods from the shop.
She said she was devastated when she discovered the break-in.
Ms Johnson said: "This is a new business and I am working 24 hours a day seven days a week, employing local people and struggling to pay the bills and then these awful people come along and try to destroy everything I have tried to build up."
Cash was also stolen from a carpet and flooring business on the trading estate at the weekend and a failed attempt was made to break into another premises.