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Epping cafe staff dismiss Starbucks threat
Independent cafe staff have dismissed threats to their businesses from Starbucks when it comes to their town in September.
The American firm confirmed a franchise run by GK Coffee will open on the former Wimpy premises in High Street, Epping, creating 10 new jobs.
The branch will be the third big coffee chain to open on the high street, joining Cafe Nero and Costa.
Owner of Dada Cafe in Station Road, Adrian Muica, said it was a pity that another big chain was opening so nearby.
“Here we use bespoke, quality ingredients but by opening a Starbucks people are being encouraged to drink and eat the same things as millions of other people.
“We offer something different and that is important.
“I don’t think that people who visit us will have any interest in a big chain like Starbucks.”
Mr Muica opened Dada, in Station Road, two months ago with wife Belinda and is not surprised that it is a well known chain that is moving in.
“The rent for a space in that part of the high street is so expensive, local business owners could never afford to move in there.”
Tracy Furlong, manager at The Epping Tea Rooms which opened in September 2010, did not think another famous brand coffee shop would make a big impact on the cafes takings.
She said: “We sell a lot of specialist tea and people come in for that.
“A lot of our customers complain about the big chains saying they are too noisy or the coffee isn’t hot enough.
“We haven’t seen any affect in business from Costa or Nero and they will probably feel the impact of Starbucks more than we will.”
Helen Rush, sales assistant at Piccola, located next door to the Starbucks site, argued another coffee shop is not what the high street needs.
“The town is dying and it needs something that is going to bring people to shop here; Starbucks isn’t going to do that.”
The 43-year-old said: “My children are teenagers and they can’t come to the high street to buy an outfit, but they can get three different types of coffee; it’s crazy.”
Wimpy closed two years ago after suffering flood damage.
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