OTTAWA -- A local business owner says she is devastated after someone hurled rocks through her brand new Westboro shop's windows, causing thousands of dollars in damage the same day it opened.

Justyna Borowska, the owner of Wedel - Touch of Europe, opened her Westboro location at 9 a.m. Friday. On Saturday morning, she received a call telling her the grocery store and gelato shop's windows had been smashed overnight.

Wedel damage

"My heart is in pieces. We put so much effort and work towards making this place successful," she told Newstalk 580 CFRA. "All the hard work has been broken. A very difficult time for us."

It was the second time the windows at this location were smashed in recent weeks. The first time was in April, while the owners were renovating and getting the store ready for its grand opening in May. The windows that were smashed overnight had been installed just three days prior.

Kitchissippi ward Coun. Jeff Leiper told Newstalk 580 CFRA the estimated cost to replace the windows alone is $14,000. Borowska said there would be further costs to replace or fix a seriously damaged gelato fridge. Anything that was in the fridge, she said, will now go to waste.

"To get a new fridge or to fix that one, it will take a long time," she said. “We cannot serve ice cream. We cannot sell our product.”

Leiper says this is especially discouraging to see at a time where small businesses are already struggling.

"Small businesses, locally-owned businesses, are struggling so hard to keep up with the pandemic," he said. "That kind of a bill is something no one needs."

Leiper said the Westboro Village BIA has stepped in to assist and Ottawa police are investigating.

Specializing in European food, the original location of the deli/bakery/bistro has been a staple in the ByWard Market for years. The new location in Westboro was meant to build on that success.

Borowska has launched a GoFundMe page to help with costs. She says neighbours have stopped by to help board up the broken windows and to offer support.

She doesn't know who is responsible for the vandalism, but she is determined to stay open.

Justyna Borowska

“I’m just so grateful to be around amazing people. They just pop in right now to try to support me which is amazing,” she told CTV News Ottawa on Saturday.

Currently police have no leads on who committed this act of vandalism. If you witnessed anything suspicious or have any information regarding this crime you are asked to contact the Ottawa Police Service.

--With reporting from Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Cassie Aylward and CTV News Ottawa's Shaun Vardon.