Why Ipswich should be proud of its independent cafe culture
PUBLISHED: 16:30 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:35 06 December 2019
Two new cafes have opened in Ipswich in this week - proving there is still a strong appetite for coffee in the town.
Cafe Myra opened in St Nicholas Street in the unit previously occupied by Doorsteps cafe and, Arnie's Sarnies before that on Monday, and today Papaky Coffee Shop opened in Kings Street.
Papaky has taken on the former JaCey's Coffee House, which has since moved on and is thriving in St Stephens Lane.
Suffolk coffee brand Paddy & Scotts have also recently opened their headquarters on the Waterfront next to their new coffee shop inside the University of Suffolk.
But why, when the high street in general is struggling, are cafes and coffee shops continuing to prosper?
Lianne Willis, who runs Cafe Myra with her partner Russell Hill, said: "I personally believe people struggle to go out in the evenings but they still want that social time with their friends."
She also believes the secret ingredient is offering the right selection of drinks, snacks and lunches.
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"People want to try new things and at the same time want to know things are home cooked. We have been hand making everything and I think that is massively important."
Tim Leggett, from the Ipswich Society - who encourage the conservation of Ipswich's finest buildings while welcoming new developments which compliment our heritage, said: "We have so many wonderful independent cafes and eating places in Ipswich today.
"The Waterfront and the Saints area alone have some lovely tucked-away surprises with a massive range of different styles.
"The other end of town must not be forgotten either like the Green Room in St Margaret's Green and Peninsula in Lloyds Avenue.
"There is also Applaud's second café in Crown House and tucked away there is Pretzie at the top of Westgate Street and even Berridges above the jewellers in St Stephen's Lane. There are cafes everywhere you look."
He continued: "Ipswich should be proud to have this choice. Other local towns boast about their cafe culture and Ipswich can too.
"In these times of more and more towns becoming social centres as much as shopping centres it has to be good to have more independent cafes around town," added Mr Leggett.