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Exploring whether Preston has too many coffee shops

Posted on - 30th July, 2018 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Food & Drink, Preston City Centre
Cafuné

Walking through Preston city centre, it’s not hard to spot a coffee shop.

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A place where you can sit, relax and enjoy some well-needed caffeine for an hour or two.

But with the recent closure of Ham and Jam coffee shop, is Preston over-caffeinated?

Read more: Every pub in Preston listed – now you rate them

Ham and Jam, which opened in late 2015, recently closed its doors due to its footfall having rapidly dwindled in the past nine months.

Many competitors include big names like Starbucks, Costa and Caffè Nero and independent shops such as Cafuné and Town House Coffee and Brew Bar.

Cafuné

Owner of Cafuné, Ana Livia M Almeida Kiernan, said: “I think there are a lot of coffee shops in Preston, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing as they can be a more affordable option to eat out or have a little treat with a friend in the middle of the week than restaurants.

“We always see people complaining when they find out about a new coffee shop opening in town. But what I believe they’re really complaining about is a having a new place selling the same old options, coffee, tea and scone or cold sandwiches and paninis.”

Read more: A cat cafe is opening in Preston city centre

Preston BID Manager, Mark Whittle said: “The shape of retail is constantly changing, these days it’s very much about the shopping experience, not just the product.

“Service retail businesses, like coffee shops, provide a vital element in the mix and are important in attracting visitors.

“Preston is fortunate that it plays home to number of good places to enjoy a great coffee.

“The point of difference, whether that be product, service, location or ambience, will decide the popularity and longevity of an outlet.”

Ham and Jam coffee shop closed in Lancaster Road Pic: Tony Worrall
Ham and Jam coffee shop closed in Lancaster Road Pic: Tony Worrall

Read more: Every pub in Preston listed – now you rate them

Councillor for Town Centre ward, Drew Gale, said: “Market forces will dictate if there are too many – or indeed not enough.

“I believe coffee shops have now filled a hole in British society that would previously have been met by pubs. Families, friends, business associates etc use coffee shops for social gatherings, or just a place to hang out and watch the world go by.

“They are part of the fabric of our society now.

“I don’t actually think its anything to do with the ‘coffee’, I mean just the other day I saw a guy in a coffee shop sitting at a table, not on his phone, not on a laptop, just drinking coffee, like a psychopath.”

Blog Preston sought to contact Costa and Starbucks but have not yet received a response.

Are there enough coffee shops in Preston? Do you think Preston is over-caffeinated? Let us know in the comments below

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