An independent coffee shop in Northampton town centre is set to close later this month and the owner says the imminent opening of a new Starbucks is one of the reasons he is shutting.
Leopold’s Chocolate and Coffee House, in Abington Street, has been open since 2011 and offers customers hand-made Belgian chocolates, pastries and afternoon scones.
Posting on the business’s Facebook page, owner Mark Walker said the shop would be closing on Friday, September 25.
Mr Walker said: “Northampton town centre is very challenging and I cannot see improvements to the town happening anytime soon. Also I have the world’s largest coffee shop (Starbucks) opening just across from me on entrance to the Market Square in the next few months. This will indeed affect every food and drink outlet in the town.”
Mr Walker said business rates were “crippling” and said he was paying £17,000 per year, which he said was “unacceptable”.
He said: “I have therefore decided to switch off the coffee machine, turn the lights out in our kitchen and bake our last scone.
“All of my employees have been advised and I am sure you will all agree I have really good employees - I wish them all much luck for the future.
“It will however be business as usual for the next two weeks as much as it can be.
“We have an extremely loyal customer base and I thank you all for your custom over the time since we opened in 2011.
“This is the end of the road for Leopold’s which I am extremely sad about.”