Southwold on the verge of changes
Friday June 15th, 2012
Waking up this morning with my mind on Southwold and its ongoing battle with Costa Coffee moving into the high street.
“We don’t need another coffee shop!”
“Another brand on the high street? Fat Face, Tesco, WHSmith… What’s next?”
The list goes on.
What strikes me is that does Southwold have a genuine coffee shop?
Let’s run through the list.
- Trinity is a cafe.
- Tilly is a cafe/restaurant.
- Munchies is a cafe.
- Swan Hotel contains a morning room for tea/coffee.
If you look at that list carefully. There are no coffee shops in Southwold hence Costa Coffee wanting to move into the area to serve coffee (or tea if you are the non coffee kind) and whatsnot fancy cakes/biscuits.
How come there are no local coffee shops in Southwold?
It’s the rental cost that forces a business to look elsewhere. From a rough estimate, to rent a shop costs around £1000 a month.
Yes, look at that again. £1000 a month.
How are businesses going to strive in this area? This is why a branded business can move in within ease knowing that that customers can recognise their brand and be happy to pay for whatever they sell.
The message is clear and simple.
It is time for the people who let these properties out to start supporting local or new businesses again.
They need to understand that charging high rental cost is not going to help anyone and there is nothing to gain at all.
Let’s go back to the idea of a local coffee shop. Can you imagine something of the type that exists in Southwold? Serving local coffee, local food/cakes and in the evening where people can meet up to talk about anything goes with drinks and snacks. A place that is different and welcoming for all generations to meet. How about local artists singing acoustic sets? It may encourage well known bands to play their music? How about tech start ups meet? Southwold is a beautiful place to start. Take a look at Creative Intent. They came out of nowhere and firmly set their place here.
It may be difficult for the older generation of Southwold to grasp onto that idea because they are too firmly set in their ways as they feel secure in their own familiarity, which can be understandable to a certain point.
If you ask me about the snobbery in Southwold. It may exist because the majority of the locals are in the older generation group.
The new generation do not have any of this working, middle, upper class nonsense. They are seeing everything as equal.
And that’s the attitude we need to have today.