A MUM and daughter team behind a 'floating cafe' say they have been overwhelmed by the response to a crowdfunding campaign after losing their canal-based business.

Kate Walsh and her daughter Olivia Sweeney are looking to get back on their feet after a major setback for Lymm's Evergreen Cafe.

Due to a dispute with a lender, the pair lost their boat – and all of their cooking and catering equipment onboard – when it was taken from its Bridgewater Canal mooring point in February.

It is another huge blow to the family after Kate lost her husband Ric to oesophageal cancer at the end of October 2020.

Transforming 'Grace' – a 55ft by 10ft narrowboat – into a unique vegan eatery was a labour of love for Ric before his death which has made losing it even harder.

But Kate and Olivia are determined not to be defeated and they are looking for a new home for Evergreen.

Olivia said: "The boat was the last thing we had of Ric. He loved it so much. He was so talented at building and creating things and the boat was his biggest and last project and what a success it was.

"After he died, working on the boat, getting it finished and serving customers gave us some light in the darkest time. We’ll never get over losing it, it’s like we’ve lost the last part of him but we know he’d tell us to carry on so that’s what we’re doing.

"We have kept each other going. The boat was our livelihood and my mum's pension plan – without it we’ve been left so vulnerable.

"We have no choice but to keep fighting, but with the support we have received from the customers, friends and family it makes it so much easier to find the motivation."

Their crowdfunding campaign is approaching £2,000 with a goal of £5,000 to relaunch with new premises and equipment.

Olivia added: "We are so overwhelmed. As a business we’ve only been actually been open for five and half months due to Covid and Ric’s illness, so the fact we have managed to make such an amazing and strong customer base is just incredible.

Kates late husband, Ric Pakenham-Walsh

Kate's late husband, Ric Pakenham-Walsh

"People came to us to see a cool boat cafe or support and a new vegan business but I felt like they kept on coming back to support us and our dream, which is something we’ll never be able to thank them enough for.

"We have been going through the worst time of our life and these people are helping us, some of which have never even been to our cafe or even met us they just feel for our story and want to send love and support."

Kate and Olivia have ruled out another boat cafe as it would be too expensive and they sadly no longer have 'Ric’s amazing skill set' but they are still looking at something mobile.

Olivia, Ric's stepdaughter, said: "At the moment we are just trying to raise funds for a new catering vehicle and catering equipment. We have been looking at converted horse boxes, we think they are really cool and quirky just like the boat.

"Ideally, we’d like to find a permanent pitch in Lymm, we owe it to all the amazing locals who supported us from the beginning but if we can’t find a spot there, we’ll look at other towns.

"We are also thinking about doing functions, people could also hire us for things like weddings and birthdays parties where we can supply them with delicious vegan food. Nothing is set in stone yet so we’re just going to see what doors open and go from there."

Evergreen Cafe went viral when it first launched which prompted interest from reporters all over the country.

Olivia added: "Ric was sceptical from the start when my mum said she wanted the cafe to be fully vegan, but she definitely proved him wrong, which they always use to joke about.

"Amazingly we had a following before we had even opened due to vegan communities on Facebook who supported us from the beginning and helped spread the word.

"We know the world is going that way, a plant-based diet is becoming more and more popular, it’s better for your health, the animals and the planet."

If you want to contribute to the crowdfunder click here.