A stalwart of the Chesterfield street food scene who was forced to shut up shop after a van collided with her cabin has clawed her way back from a ‘dark place’ to let her regulars know she’s back in action.
Karen Wint was left out of work when a Derbyshire County Council van ploughed into Karen’s Kabin, the roadside café she had been running opposite Chesterfield Royal Hospital for more than a decade, in 2016.
But after 18 months of financial, physical and psychological hardship following the freak accident, Karen has bounced back and is keen to get the word out about her return.
Mum Karen said: “It’s been a horrible time, but this is my passion and I’ve decided it’s worth fighting for.
“Basically, the van came through the layby and went straight into my serving hatch.
“The hatch was damaged and I injured my shoulder and arm, meaning I couldn’t work.
“Suddenly, I was struggling to feed my children.
“I went into a deep depression but I managed to claw my way out of it with therapy and by volunteering, which gave me some purpose.”
Karen was initially apprehensive about rolling out the cabin for a second go, but decided to take the plunge after receiving support from her friends and family.
“It can take years to build up a loyal customer base, and I assumed that had all been wiped out,” said Karen.
“But I’ve had so much support and I really do love the job. I’ll never be a millionaire, don’t get me wrong, but I’m a people person so it’s perfect for me.”
But Karen has another challenge on her hands after Derbyshire County Council agreed to cover her loss of earnings but disputed damage costs.
The county court case will be heard at Sheffield Crown Court on September 21.
“I thought the council wanted to support small businesses like mine - it’s disheartening,” said Karen.
“But life goes on. I have to follow my heart. I’m glad to be back.”
A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said this week: “We are liaising with Miss Wint’s legal representatives about this case.
“Due to the upcoming court case we’re not able to comment further.”