Ukrainian refugee brings family coffee firm to Dorset

A refugee from the war in Ukraine is preparing to relaunch his family's coffee firm in the UK after importing the equipment from Kyiv.

Amer Al Atti said the machinery luckily survived Russian bombing, which hit neighbouring businesses.

He said he struggled for four months to make the import arrangements.

Mr Al Atti said he hoped his firm, Luvé, in Three Legged Cross, Dorset, would expand from roasted coffee beans to a chain of cafes.

The entrepreneur said he was allowed to leave Ukraine despite being of military age because he is originally from Jordan.

He said he realised when he arrived in December that the UK was a better market for his 20-year-old business.

He said: "It was a very difficult decision [to leave Ukraine]. I didn't want to leave but after that I took the decision to leave to help my kids.

"[At first] I can't bring the machinery... it was really a serious stress. But then we've done it. I feel very proud and my family was happy."

Website designer Damian Pixley, who is helping the firm to get online, said: "It's been quite emotional. When I heard his story I thought, wow, what a guy.

"Actually he's trying to do a project that seems impossible and he doesn't seem to want to let go until it's done.

"He couldn't get a place and the guy here... who owns the whole site [of commercial units], he gave him the opportunity to do this.

"And I think that's lovely. It says a lot about the community in England and how we try and look out for people."

After winning his import battle, it took Mr Al Atti two months to install the three-tonne roaster and other equipment.

He said he hoped to bring his wife and two daughters to the UK soon after setting up a family home.

Source: BBC