Coffee bar opening is OK says boss
A COFFEE shop chain has scoffed at claims that they cannot join the fast-growing "deli culture" in Felixstowe.Puccino's, who hope to open a shop on Hamilton Road on Friday, said they have the correct planning permission needed to open as a coffee shop.
A COFFEE shop chain has scoffed at claims that they cannot join the fast-growing "deli culture" in Felixstowe.
Puccino's, who hope to open a shop on Hamilton Road on Friday, said they have the correct planning permission needed to open as a coffee shop.
Andrew Sanders, marketing director of Puccino's, said that they will mostly be providing take away food and drink which involves no cooking.
He said the Felixstowe shop had the same type of planning permission that covered other major coffee shops in the UK including Costa, Starbucks and Coffee Republic.
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The privately owned English firm was answering criticisms from owners and managers of other catering outlets in the seaside town who believed the company was not allowed to set up in Hamilton Road.
Some caterers in the town threatened to protest last week over claims that Puccino's were neglecting council policy set down to ensure the town centre would not be over-saturated with shops selling food.
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But Mr Sanders told the Evening Star that their concerns were unfounded.
"The site chosen has an A1 classification which is exactly what we need for our Deli Bar.
"This is the retail classification used by all coffee shop and sandwich bar operators who are providing a largely take away food and drink offering involving no cooking.
"Costa, Starbucks, Coffee Republic etc all trade out of A1 sites. If we were opening one of our Café bar restaurants we would have chosen an A3 approved location."
He said that the smaller businesses in the town should not think of Puccino's as a Goliath threatening to take over the business in the town because they were a relatively small business compared to coffee shop giants such as Starbucks and Costa.
"We have conducted ourselves entirely correctly and apart from the obvious but misplaced belief that competition will hurt local trade I do not understand the problem.
"In our experience increased competition will provide increased choice for customers, it drives up standards and may even help to pull more people into the town as part of the café culture experienced elsewhere in the country."
But Suffolk Coastal council remains sceptical as to whether the business carried out in the shop would be covered by the existing planning permission.
"We have advised them that we think they require planning permission for a change of use," said a spokesperson for the council.
"If it turned out that they opened and don't require it then that would be the end of the matter. It is one of those where we will keep an eye on it once it's opened."