The owners of Portland's Margaret & Agnes cafe know all too well what it's like to lose everything in a fire.
Anthony Vecchio and his business partner Mark Thornbury were left devastated when the historic building that housed their popular cafe on Percy Street was gutted by a fire on June 30 last year.
The blaze, which occurred just one day after the business' first anniversary, was caused by an electrical fault due to an overheating fridge.
Glass was heard breaking and fire was seen exploding out the front of the building which triggered an alert being raised.
Mr Vecchio said they lost everything, but outpouring community support saw them re-open the business at a new premises just four weeks later.
Margaret & Agnes re-opened in July at 73 Bentinck Street, formally Cafe Lazat.
The new venue has a bright, trendy interior and stunning beach views.
Mr Vecchio said the last six months had been "completely overwhelming".
"The day after the fire, me and Mark were standing outside the actual cafe and this older couple who are regulars pulled up out the front, called us both over and handed us some cash.
"As soon as they did that I was just overwhelmed and started crying," he said.
The couple's generous donation wasn't the only philanthropic response, with a Go Fund Me campaign sparked by the Portland community raising $1000.
Mr Vecchio said the funds helped kick start the cafe's relocation.
"The locals have really got right behind us," he said.
Now fully re-established, Mr Vecchio said he wanted to give back to the community.
And what better way than to give back to those suffering through the country's unprecedented bushfire crisis, he said.
"We wanted to raise money for the bushfires because we know what those people are going through," he said.
We wanted to raise money for the bushfires because we know what those people are going through.Anthony Vecchio
"Not to the full extent but we can definitely sympathise, so we decided to donate $1 from every coffee to Red Cross."
The fundraiser held last week raised over $800 for the humanitarian aid and community services charity.
"We sold 300 coffees on the day and then Mark and I matched that amount as well," Mr Vecchio said.
"Our staff also donated their tips from the past month and we had a couple of locals donate an extra $20 or $50."
Mr Vecchio thanked the community of Portland for the ongoing support to both Margaret & Agnes and the wider Australian community.
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