Upset as LED ditch Aby and his great team

PUBLISHED: 14:53 20 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:21 10 June 2010

Staff at Aby s Catering at Exmouth Pavilion were left in shock and disbelief last week when it was announced their boss had failed in his bid to have his contract renewed and that Leisure East Devon had awarded the new franchise to another bidder.

Staff at Aby's Catering at Exmouth Pavilion were left in shock and disbelief last week when it was announced their boss had failed in his bid to have his contract renewed and that Leisure East Devon had awarded the new franchise to another bidder.

I firmly believe that, over the years, Aby and his super staff have done a marvellous job in making The Pavilion lounge a place which is a joy to visit and where customers are truly valued.

I have great admiration for the fantastic, friendly service given to people of all ages and all walks of life. From time to time, the Journal has published glowing tributes to Aby and his staff and I heartily endorse them, having spent many happy hours in The Pavilion lounge with Aby's Catering.

Aby's delightful daughter, Leila, who is a real gem with a wonderful warm and kind personality, sums it up like this: "We are a family business and we regard our customers as family and friends."

Surely, we have here something precious to be cherished, something to be preserved if at all possible. Tragically, it would seem, from their decision not to award Aby another contract, LED has a completely different set of values.

I sometimes wonder whether LED has the faintest idea what a devastating effect its decisions can have on good people. Leila recalls: "I felt absolutely gutted when I heard our contract would not be renewed and I kept crying for days afterwards." I wonder if LED cares about all its previously happy customers who will feel dismayed when they hear the sad news. I wonder if they care about people at all.

No doubt, in days to come, I will treasure fond memories of Aby's Catering as I wistfully walk past Exmouth Pavilion, thanking God for them and the fact that memories are something LED cannot take away from us.

Roger Simmonds,

Budleigh Salterton.

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