An Open Letter To Southwold Regarding Local Shops
Friday March 9th, 2012
Over the years, the town has seen local shops closing up where leading brands such as Fat Face, WHSmith and Tesco moved into the area. Regarding the fact that Co-op has been in the town for some time. There is a strong feel in the local community that local businesses must survive and thrive in these times.
As there are rumours that Costa Coffee possibly muscling into the area. It is time for the community of Southwold to step up and think what brands are doing to the town. I don’t like to see this destroying other local cafes in the area.
Unfortunately, people see a brand and support that without a second thought. People wants the familiarity to be there and it dwarfs local shops into omission.
This leads me to thinking about quality.
Coffee is a great example.
When was the last time have you had good coffee? Go into a well known brand coffee shop and get one of their coffee. Strip away the layers of what they have added to the coffee and you are left with something that leaves a taste undesired.
Now go to a local coffee shop, the kind where it is a local business serving their own brand of coffee. Look at The Window Coffee in Norwich. Small, intuitive and homely. This is where a community builds over time in this shop, you don’t expect it. Something is at play here, you get to know people, you support the shop with your cash you earned into something that worth it. You’re paying for quality there and for free, you get conversations that comes for free.
Think about the well known brand coffee shop again.
Cold. Empty. Lifeless. You’re a number to them.
Go back to the local coffee shop.
You’re someone. How do you like that? That’s quality.
The high street needs a rethink. A big rethink that it need to break out of the traditional mould that has been going over for centuries. It hasn’t evolved in the way it supposed to be.
I don’t want to see reports about high streets is dying.
I don’t want to see ‘consultant’ reports about what is happening in their high streets. Nobody wants to read reports filled of business jargons. Smoke screen after smoke screen.
We need to be doing something about this today.
If you have an idea for the high street, do something about it today.
If you want to set up a bookshop. Do so, fuse it with another idea. Maybe a Coffee Bookshop? Hang on, how about a coffee secondhand/newish bookshop? See how an idea can run away with itself? It has been a dream of mine to do something like this for years. Maybe local talents could come in for a busk in exchange for food, drink and conversation. Maybe a sofa to look outside the window and whilst away the day by daydreaming?
Remember, we all get good ideas and they always seem so frail at first. Just remember to hang onto the core principle of how you got that idea in the first place and how it makes you warm and fuzzy inside.
The high street, they are evolving…